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Newly Tranflated into Enciish, from the Original Latin 



[ in ] 


TH E following letter, addrefTed to a Clergy- 
man of character in the country, with whom 
the Author of this Vcrfion had cultivated a friendly 
correfpondence for a confiderable time, perhaps, 
may not be improper to be communicated to the 
public, as it may partly ferve to mew his intention 
in falling about the work, and partly apologize for 
whatever inaccuracies may occur to the judicious and 
learned reader. 

R E V. S I R, 
HAVING refided for fome time in the coun- 
try, without bufinefs of any importance, I at 
length began to expoftulate with myfelf, how I 
might employ the leifure hours on my hands, fo as 
to accomplifh fome valuable end. The refult of 
my rnofl ferious, and intenfe reflections on this 
fubjecl, is the exhibition of an Englifh verfion of 
a fmall, but very comprehenfive Syflem of found 
Divinity. The Author of it is the celebrated Of- 
terwald of Switzerland, a very learned Divine, 
and moft agreeable Preacher. This Author, with 
whofe character, I fuppofe, you are well acquaint- 
ed, together with all his performances, have been 
much extolled, and applauded wherever they ap- 

Such a defign as this, I think, ix profecuted, 

and with a tolerable degree of accuracy executed, 

A 2 might 


might be deemed a kind office, both by the 
Jearned and unlearned. It might be of ufe to 
young men candidates for the Miniftry, if any 
fuch are to be found, who have not attained to 
a thorough knowledge of the Latin Language. 
In particular, it might improve my own'mind, as 
it tends to infpire the mod: elevated conceptions 
of Religion and Virtue. Now though 1 look on 
fuch an undertaking as truely laudible, yet a certain 
felf-difridence intervenes, which does not indeed 
proceed {o much from any confcioufnefs I enter- 
tain of my ignorance of either the Author's lan- 
guage, or meaning, but rather from a jealoufy of 
my not being fo much matter of Englifh, as 
might enable me todojudice to fo glorious an 
Author-, an Author, the fublimity of whofe fenti- 
ments, merit the mod mafterly (trokes of the finer!: 
pen, put into the hands of the moft enlarged, 
and refined genius. Being thus embarraffed by 
this obfticle, 1 thought proper, Sir, to apply unto 
you, whofe fituation in life mu(l, in an eminent 
degree, render you acquainted with literature, for 
your candid advice. Now, in order that you 
may be the better judge, and determine in this cafe, 
I have fent you a fpecimen of the intended trans- 
lation, with the original, which I hope you will 
perufe, and compare together, and after perufal, 
and comparifon, frankly tell your mind. If your 
judgment is in my favour, I mail with the greater 
ardor proceed, if otherwife, I mail bear matters, 
with a philofophical patiencQ, I had almoft faid a 
ftoical apathy. 



Being encouraged by the Gentleman alluded to, 
the Editor proceeded, and thinks that he cannot 
afford the world a better character of both the Au- 
thor and original work, than what was drawn by 
Mr. Robert Foulis, Printer for the Academy of 
Glafgow, in the year, One thoufand, {^vtn hundred 
and thirty-nine. Which I have tranflated, and is 
as follows. 


I vi 3 

To the Benevolent READER, the Bookfellei- 

wifheth all Health. 

AT length I deliver to you, defcribed with my 
own types, John Frederick Ofterwald, an 
incomparable Divine and Preacher, and a very ven- 
erable Deacon of the Church of Neucomium, his 
Compendium of Chrifcian Theology. This fmall 
volume, if you only regard its fize, will appear 
to be of little value, but after looking into its 
contents, will be deemed greater than any price. 
It is a notorious fact, that for the mod part, fuch 
compends of fciences as have been made public to 
the world, have not been attended with that de- 
gree of fuccefs which might be wifhed for, which 
can be attributed to no other caufe, but that their 
authors frequent weighing the moment of things in 
unjufl balances, without a difcriminating judgment, 
omitting matters of the greater!: moment, dwell 
upon the furface and inutilities \ and thus, inftead 
of compends, rather obtrude upon their difciples, 
the lofs of leifure and time. The cafe here is 
quite the reverfe, where this very great man of 
the moft penetrating judgment, propounds the 
capital topics of univerfal Theology, with that 
perfpicuity, that force of argumentation, that fim- 
plicity, and which is the principal recommendation 
of a Divine, that de fire of promoting peace, that 
I muft ingenioufly affert, no book equal to it, hath 
hitherto been extant, and would not fcruple to ap- 

[ vii ] 

ply to it that Epithet of the Jews concerning the 
Sacred Writings themfelves, viz. that it contains 
the moft momentous doctrines, every where pend- 
ing on pregnant expreflions. Nor, certainly, 
Reader, is there any caufe why you mould enter- 
tain the fmalleft doubtfulnefs concerning thefe 
aflertions, or imagine that they proceed from any 
fordid views of making gain. For, long jfince, 
hath the illuftrious Ofterwald, by other writings 
which he has publifhed, of the greater!: utility to 
the Chriftian world, proved, that only things of 
fuch importance could proceed from him, being 
born for the good of the Church. The greateft 
Divines have acknowledged the fignal weight, and 
moment of his writing, who, during the fpace of 
thirty years fince, have judged it advantageous, 
nay even neccflarv, both in their private and pub- 
lic fchools, to inftill into their auditors, the pure 
and facred ftreams of falutary doctrine, Ofterwald 
being their guide. In a word, the judgment 
formed by all, concerning this Compendium, who 
have ever been acquainted with it, appears even 
from this, that there was not one fingle perfon 
among them, who, feeing that at that time the 
precious treafure could not be otherwife obtained, 
did not transcribe it with his own hand, or take 
care that it mould be done for him, all being of 
opinion, that neither pains nor coft fhould be {par- 
ed in the acquisition. It had indeed been long 
fince defired, that either the celebrated Author 
himfelf had been the Editor, or that he had given 
permiiTionto others to be fo, but previoufiy, ap- 
plications of fuch fort have been fruitlefs. Now 

# at 

t viii ] 

at length having obtained leave from the verier a- 
tie old man himfelf, to be the publifher, this I 
have certainly done with the greateft care and at- 
tention, in order that I might deliver it unto you, 
Reader, as correal: as poflible, and free from the 
errors of tranferibers. The principal paffages in 
Sacred Scriptures, which are only cited, I have 
every where fet down in full. Therefore, friendly 
Reader, with gladnefs of heart enjoy this gift, and 
let your fervent prayers be united with mine to 
Almighty God, that he may keep its venerable Au- 
thor in fafety until he arrives at the age of Neftor : 
moreover, that he may abundantly fupply him with 
ilrength, to edify the Church «fChrift, not only as 
a preacher, but likewife by the addition of various 
writings, with which we are well afTured his defks 
are replete. Farewell. 


[ i* ] 



REVEREND Timothy Allen, Chefterfield, 
Dr. John Averit, Afhford, Connecticut, 7 books, 
Capt. Oliver Allen, Shatefbury, MafTachufetts, 
Mr. Thomas Allen, bookfeller, N. York, 7 books, 

Alizer Andrews, merchant, Southington, Con- 

Saul Alvord, Bolton, do. 

Mofes Allen, Enfield, do. 

Charles Andrews, jun. Gloftenbury, do. 

David Auftin, Winchefter, 2 books, do. 

Levi Andrews, jun. Berlin, do. 

Amos Avery, Hartford, do. 

David Auftin, Winchefter, do. 

Jofiah Alfred, Granby, MafTachufetts, 

Elifria Adkins, Granville, do. 

Benjamin Atwell, jun. Montville, Connecticut, 

Chriftian A. Zabrrfkey, New- York, 


Rev. Benjamin Boardman, Hartford, Connecticut, 
Rev. Benjamin Bell, Amefbury, MafTachufetts, 
Re\ John BafTett, New-York» 



Rev. Samuel Buel Eaft Hampton, Long Ifland, 
Rev. Noah Benedict, Litchfield county, Connecticut 
Rev. Daniel Brinfmade, do. 

Rev. Aaron JordonBooge, Granville, MafTachufetts 
Rev. Thomas Brockway, Lebanon, Connecticut, 
Col. Jacob Bates, Granville, MafTachufetts, 
Ezra Branard, Efq. Haddam, Connecticut, 
Jofeph Byington, Efq. Briftol, do. 

William Billings, Efq. Conway, MafTachufetts, 
Capt. Caleb Boothe, Eaft Windfor, Connecticut, 
Capt. Lawrence Buckminfler, Framingham, Maf- 
Thomas Beebe, Eaft Saddam, Connecticut, 
Caleb Bull, jun. merchant Hartford, do. 
Jofeph Balch, Becket, MafTachufetts, 7 books, 
Daniel Burnap, Eaft Windfor, Connecticut, 
Abner Burnap, Coventry, do. 

Samuel Burr, merchant, Hartford, do. 
Benjamin Brown, Eaft Hartford, do. 
John Bradley, Wethersfleld, do. 

Thomas Barber, Windfor^ do. 

Titus Burr, Wintonbury, do. 

Eliphalet Bartlet, Newtown, New Hampmire,, 
Ebcnezer Bofworth, Afhford, Connecticut, 
John Babcock, Coventry, do. 

Piatt Buffet, Student of Clinton Academy, 

Long Ifland, 
William Battle, Torrington, Connecticut, 
Jofeph Biflel, Lebanon, do. 

Ifaac Biflel, Suffield, do'. 

Bbenezer Burr, Norfolk, 2 books, do. 
David Belamy, merchant, Bethlim, do. 
David Burt, Northampton, MafTachufetts, 
David Brown, Lydcn, do. 

Lieut. David Billings, Hatfield, do. 


Mr. Lovel Bullock, Guilford, Vermont, 7 books 
John Bullard, Wcithampton, MafTachufetts, 
William Butler, Printer, Northampton, 

7 books, do. 

Tudah Bams, Briitol, Conneclicut, 
Eliiha Billings, Conway, MafTachufetts, 
Joel Baker, do. do. 

Publius V.Booge, A. B.Farmington, Conneclicut 
Enos Blifs, A. B.Longmeadow, MafTachufetts, 
Afa Baker, Colchefter, Conneclicut, 
Truman Boftick, New Milford, do, 
David Blifs, Hartford, do. 

Samuel Beckwith, do. do. 


Rev. George Colton, Bolton, Connecticut, 
Rev. Rozel Cook, Montville, MafTachufetts, 
Col. Samuel Canfield, Durham, Conneclicut, 
Mr. Samuel Cambell,bookfeller,N. York, 28 books 
Afahel Clark, Efq. Lebanon, Connecticut 
Richard Carry, Efq. Charlefton,MaiTachu(l-tts, 
Elnathan Camp, Efq. Durham, Conneclicut, 
Dr. John Clarke, Windham, do. 

Dr. Policarpus Cufhman, Barnardfton, MafTa- 
chufetts, 7 books, 
Dr. Ebenezer Childs, Shelburn, Vermont, 
Dr. Samuel Church, Sunderland, MafTachufetts, 
Capt. James Chamberlain, Eaft Windfor, Con- 
Lieut. Simon Cooley, Sunderland, MafTachufetts, 
Lieut. Abner Cooley, Dearrield, do. 

Lieut. John Cowles jun. Belchertown, do. 
Lieut. Daniel Clapp, Montagu , dp, 

Enfign Martin Cooley, Sunderland, do. 


Mr. Ebenezcr Calkins, Lebanon, Connecticut, 
Jacob Catlin, A..M. Marlborough MafTachufetts 
Aaron Church, A. M. Hartland, Connecticut, 
Jeremiah Clark, Hampton, MafTachufetts, 
Amos Clark, . do. 

Stephen Chubb,jun. New Hartford, Connecticut 
Jofeph E. Camp, Bethlem, do. 

Aaron Curtis, Granville, MafTachufetts, 2 books, 
David Cunningham, Cumington, Vermont, 
Jofeph Childs, Lyden, do. 

JohnClarke,Greenfield, MafTachufetts, 14-books 
Ifrael Clarke, hunderland, do. 
Rennah Cooley, do. 

Lemuel Clarke, do. 

Benjamin Cook, Loudon, do. 

Francis Childs, New- York, 
Nehemiah B. Cook, Student Clinton Academy 

Eaft-Hampton, Long Ifland, 
Aaron Chapin, Hartford, Connecticut, 
George Clarke, Farmington, do. 

Afel Cooley, New Canaan, do. 


Dr. Benjamin Dyer, Windham, Connecticut, 

Benjamin Dibble, Granby, MafTachufetts, 

Seth Dwight, Williamfburg, do. 

Elifha Dickinfon, Hadley, do. 

Mifs Rebecca Dickinfon Hatfield, do. 

Lemuel Delano, Sunderland, do. 

Edward D ; mock, Mansfield, Connecticut, 

Philip Davis, Mansfield, do. 

Thomas Danforth, Wethersfield, do. 

Jofeph Dwight, Somers, do. 

Lathrop Davis, Lebanon, do. 

Joel Day, Springfield, MafTachufetts, 


Mr, Jofeph Dimock, Mansfield, Connecticut, 
Jonathan Dexter, do. do. 

Dr. Mofes Eaton, Charlemont, MafTachufetts, 
Reuben Eno, Simfbury, Connecticut, 
Mcfes Enfign, Eaft Plartford, do. 
Jocob Elmer, Eaft Windfor, do. 

Dr. Samuel Flagg, Eaft Hartford, Connecticut, 
Dr. Jonathan, Fuller, Mansfield, do. 

Capt. Elijah Field, Sunderland, MafTachufetts, 
Capt. Richard Fletcher, Mansfield, Connecticut, 
Mifs. Abigail Fuller, Hampton, MafTachufetts, 
Thomas Farnham, do. do. 

Abial Fellaws, Canaan, Connecticut, 
Levi Frifbee, Briftol, do. 

Frederick Freeman, Mansfield, do. 
Hezekiah Fitch, Wallingford, do. 
Nathaniel Fitz, EfTex County, MafTachufetts, 
Bela Froft, Warterbury, Connecticut, 
Ebenezer Faxon, Hartford, do. 

Skiff Freeman, Mansfield, do, 

Rev. ElizerGoodrich, D. D. Durham, Connecticut, 
Rev. Alexander Gillet, Farmingbury, do. 
Col. Ebenezer Gray, Windham, do. 

Mofes Gun, Efq. Montague, MafTachufetts, 
Nathaniel Gaylord, A. M. Hartland, Con- 
Jonathan Gurley, Mansfield, do. 


Mr. Luther Granger, South Hadley,MafTachufetts. 
Eleazer Gaylord, Briitol, Connecticut, 
Mofes Green, jun. Montague, MafTachufetts, 
Colton Graves, Sunderland, do. 

Rufus Graves, Student Dartmouth College, 
Noah Grant, Coventry, Connecticut, 
Thomas Greenleaf, Printer, New-York, 7 books 
Truman Graham, Simfbury, Connecticut, 
James Goodwin, Hartford, do. 

David Gleafon, Farmington, do. 

Eraftus Granger, Suffield, do. 

Shubel Grifwold, Eaft Hartford, do. 


Rev. David Higgins, Lyme, Connecticut, 
Noadiah Hooker, Efq. Farmington, do. 
Benjamin Henfhaw, Efq. New Hartford, do. 
Benjamin Huntington, Efq. Norwich, do. 
Abel Hine, Efq. Litchfield County, 
Dr. Daniel Huntington, Bethlim, Connecticut, 
Dr. Mofes Hayden, Cornway, do. 

Dr. Nehemiah How, Afhford, do. 

Capt. Silas Hartfhorn, Franklin, do. 

Capt. Jacob Hovey, Mansfield, do. 

Capt. Jofeph Hill, Lebanon, do. 

Capt. James Harper, Eaft Windfor, do. 
Capt. James Hillyer, jun. Granby, do. 

Capt. John Hale, Coventry, do. 

Mr. Robert Hodge, bookfeller, New-York, 7 books, 

Frederick Halfey, Student of Clinton Acade- 
my, Eaft Hampton, Long Ifland, 

Eliphaz Hibbard, Mansfield, Connecticut, 

James Lord Houfton, Windham, do. 

Thomas Hiljdrup, Hartford, do. 


Mr. Benjamin Howard, Eolton, do. 

Amos Hosford, Berlin, do. 

Alexander Houfe, Lebanon, do, 

Timothy Houlton, Ellington, do. 

Jofhua Hall, New-London, do. 

John Hamilton, do. do. 

John Hubbard, Sandersfield, MafTachufetts, 
Jofeph Hutchins, Northampton, do. 

Samuel Hitchcock, N. One, 7 books, do. 
Richard Hale, jun. Coventry, Connecticut, 
Enoch Hovev, Mansfield, do. 

Eliilia Hewit, Lenox, MafTachufetts, 
Stephen Hatch, Monfon, do. 

Enoch Hoyt, Salifbury, Connecticut, 
Adam Hamilton, Weftfield, MafTachufetts, 


Enfign Enos Ives, Briftol, Connecticut, 

Jonathan Jennings, Windham, do. 

"William Jerom, jun. Briftol, do. 

Benjamin Jerom, do. do; 

Amos Ives, do. do, 

David H. Jewett, Montviile, do. 

Enoch Jackman, Salifbury, do. 

Jonathan Janes, Hartford, do> 

James Johnftcn, Canaan* do. 


Ephr'am Kirigfbury, Efq. Coventry, Connecticut, 
Capt. John Kent, Suffield, do. 

Jofeph Kirby, Middletown, do. 

Samuel Knox, Blanford, MafTachufetts, 
Stephen Knoufton, Chatham, Connecticut, 


Mr. George Keeney, Mansfield, Connecticut, 
William Kingfbury, Coventry, do. 

Seth King, jun. Sunield, do. 

Rev. Samuel Lockwood, Coventry, do. 

Rev. Eliphalet Lyman, Wooditcck, do. 

Rev. Walter Lyon, Pomphret, do. 

Lynde Lord, Efq. Litchfield, do. 

Hezekiah Lane, Efq. Killingfworth, do. 

Major Noadiah Leonard, Sunderland, MafTachufetts 

Timothy Lawrance, Bofton, do. 

Capt. James Lee, Briftol, Connecticut, 
Mr. Samuel Loudon, bookfeller and printer, New- 
York, 7 books, 

David Lyman, Eafl Hampton, MafTachufetts, 
7 books, 

Rufus Lathrop, Norwich, Connecticut, 

Timothy Larrabe, Windham, do. 

Samuel Lucas, merchant, Sandersfield, Maf- 

Jonas Lawrence, Canaan, Connecticut, 

Samuel, Lawrence, Hartford, do. 

John Leffingwell, Lenox, MafTachufetts, 

Caleb Lyman, Hadley, do. 

Calvin Laydcl, Amrield, do. 

Timothy Lyman, Gofhen, Connecticut, 


Rev. John Murray, Newbury Port, 
Rev. Noah Merwin, Mansfield, Connecticut, 
Col. Samuel Mott, Prefton, do. 

Dr. Samuel Marther, Lyme, do. 

Dr. Jofeph Mirter, Wilbrahr.m, MafTachufetts, 


Dr. Marcus Marble, Springfield, MaiTachufetts, 
John Miller, Eaft Hampton, Long Iftand, 
A fa Mo u Iron, Mansfield, Connecticut, 
Elijah Manrofe, Briftol, do. 

Elikim Marfhell, jun. Windfor, do. 

' David Manvvarring, jun. New-London, do. 
Aaron Mofes, Sim (bury, do. 

Jofeph Mills, Norfolk/ do. 

Lucian Morgin, Hadley, MafTachufetts, 
Simeon Mitchel, Wafliington, Connecticut, 
Ifaac Maltby, Northampton, MafTachufetts, 
Mofes Montague, Norwich, Connecticut, 
Malachi Maynard, Conway, MaiTachufetts, 
Joel Moody, Amherft, 7 books, do. 
Ebenezer Montague, Sunderland, do. 
Jonathan A. Miller, Hartford, Conneciicut, 
Godfrey Malbron, Coventry, do. 

Clark M'Mafter, Palmer, MafTachufetts, 
Phillip Morril, Salifbury, Conneciicut, 
John Mycall, Printer, Newbury Port, 
Afa Moore, Windfor, Conneciicut, 
James Merrit, Berkhamfted, do. 
Azariah, Mather, Windfor. do. 

Rev. Samuel Newell, Briftol, do. 

Lieut. Jonathan Norton, Loudon, do. 

Enfign David Newell, Briftol, do. 

Samuel Norton, Sandiersfield, MaiTachufetts, 
Levi Norton, Winchefter, Conneciicut, 
Kiifha Niles, Chatham, do. 

Mofes Niles, Windfor, do. 

Mofes Niles, jun. do. do. 

Daniel Nevins, Norwich. do. 


Nathaniel Otis, Montville, Conneciicut, 

Benjamin, Quids, jun. Marlborough, do. 



Rev. Nehemiah Predden, Enfield, Connecticut, 
Rev. Elijah Parfons, Eaft Haddam, do. 

Necolus Pike, Efq. Newbury Port, 

Zebuion Peck, jun. Efq. Briftol, Connecticut, 
Dr. Cardee Parker, Coventry, do. 

Dr. Jofeph Parker, Hebron, do. 

William Payne, Preceptor of Clinton Academy 
Long Ifland, > 

Jabez Peck, do. 

Allen Pratt, Pridgewater, MafTachufetts, 

David Perrin, Woodftock, Connecticut, 

Lemuel Parfons, Chatham, do. 

Juftice Parfons, Gofhen, 7 books, do. 

Aaron Parfons, Eafthampton, MarTachufetts, 

Milliam Pomeroy, Southampton, do. 

Benjamin Parker, Whately, do. 

Samuel Palmer, Montvillc, Connecticut, 

Timothy Parker, Coventry, do. 

Elias Page, do. do. 

Eleazer Payne, Earl: Windfor, do. 
Mifs Lucy Phelps, Suffield, do. 

Nathaniel Pomeroy, do. do, 

Timothy Palmer, do. do. 

Elijah Parker, Mansfield, do. 

Elizer Pomeroy, Coventry. do. 
Col. Timothy Robinfon, Granville, Maffachufetts, 
Elijah Rockwell, Efq. Cclebrook, Connecticut, 
Capt. Amos Richardfon, Coventry, do. 

Ammi R. Robinfon, A. M. Hartland, do. 

George Raymon, Montville, do. 

Svlvanus Raymond, do. do. 

Valentine Rathbun, Stonington, do. 

Charles Reed Chefkrncld, Mafiachufctt's, 


Mr. David Rider, Barnardfton, Maflachufetts, 
Jefee Reed, Charlemont, do. 

Luther Reed, do. do. 

Ebenezer Ruft, Southampton, do. 
Nathaniel Rice, Sunderland, do. 

Juftis Richardfon, Coventry, Conneclicut, 
Stephen Ruflel, Hartford, do. 

Amafa Rockwell, Eaft Windfor, do. 
Amariah Rockwell, Coventry, do. 

Daniel Rockwell, Eaft Windfor. do. 

Rev. Richard S. Stoors, Longmeado\v Mafiachu- 

fetts, 7 books, 
Rev. Samuel Stebbins, Simfbury, Conneclicut, 
Rev. Jofiah Shermon, Gofhen, do. 

Rev. Preserved Smith, Rowe, do. 

Rev. Jofeph Strong, Williamfburg, Maflachufetts, 
"William Stone, Candidate Guilford, Conneclicut, 
Edmund Sawyer, Efq. Newbery, Maflachufetts, 

7 books, 
Dr. James Steele, Ellington, Connecticut, 
Capt. Samuel Seflions, do. do. 

Capt. Thomas Stocking, Afhfield, do. 

Mr. Elifha Strong, Windfor, do. 

David Smith, jun. North Bolton^ do. 

Jonathan Steele, Hartford, do. 

Amazi Stanley, Berlin, do. 

Seth Stanley, do. do. 

Reuben Skinner, Bolton, do. 

Thomas Spencer, Eaft Hartford, do. 

Marfhfield Steele, Student Yale College, do 4 

Thomas Stoors, Mansfield, do. 

Eleazer Stoors, A. M. Sandersfleld, M; la, 

Jofiah Stillman, do. do. 


Mr. Charles Swift, Lebanon, Connecticut, 
Jofiah Smith, jun. New Londc-], 2 books, do. 
Nathan Sfpelman, Sandersfield, MafTachufetts, 
Jofiah Stiphens, Claremont, do. 

Samuel Soulmayd, Wartertown, Connecticut, 
Jofiah Starr, Litchfield, County, do. 

Midad Strong, Northampton, MafTachufetts, 
John Strong, Wefthampton, do. 7 books, 

Thomas Sanderfon, Whately, do. 
Nathaniel Smith, Sunderland, do. 
Abraham Sanderfon, do. do, 

Azra Smith, Chatham, Connecticut, 
Caleb Stanley, Coventry, do. 

.Recompence Sherril Eaft Hampton Long- 
. liland, 
David Sears, Lenox, MafTachufetts,. 
Jacob Sargeant, Springfield, do. 


Rev. David Tappan, Newbury, Maflachufetts, 

John Taylor, Candidate, Coventry Connecticut 
Samuel Taylor, Efq. Buckland, do. 

Samuel Thomfon, Efq. Mansfield, do. 

Hezekiah Thomfon, Efq. Woodbury, do. 

Capt. Ifaac TomPnfon, do. do. 

Capt. Shadrack Terrey, Enfield, do. 

Benjamin, Thacher, Lebanon, do. 

Mr. Ifaiah Thomas, Printer, Worcester, MafTa- 
chufetts, 40 books, 
Ifaac Tuby, New-London, Connecticut, 
"William Thomas, Watertown, do. 

Nathaniel Taylor, New Milford, do. 
Benjamin Tappin, Northampton, Maflachufetts 
Timothy Terrey, Ourfield, do. 

Stephen Turner, Coventry, Connecticut, 
Jofeph Talcott, jun. do. do. 


Mr. Jofhua Thomas, Springfield, MafTachufetts, 

2 books, 
Lieut. Gad Taylor, Surheld, Connecticut, 

Jofhua Thayer, Williamfburg, Maffachufetts, 

2 books. 


Capt. Afa Upfon, Briftol, Connecticut, 
Thomas Upfon, Southington, do. 
Timothy Upfon, do. do. 

Saul Upfon, Briftol, do. 

Oliver Utley, Mansfield, do. 


"Rev. Jofeph Vail, Eaft Haddam, Connecticut, 
George Vail, Gloftenbury. do. 


Rev. Jofeph Willard, Wilbraham, Maflachufetts, 
Rev. Aaron, Walworth, Bridge Hampton, Long 

Rev. Nathan Wcodhull, Huntington, do. 

Rev. Stepen White, Windham, Connecticut, 
Rev. Rufus Wells, Whately, MafTachufetts, 
Rev. Mofes C. Welch, Mansfield, Connecticut, 
Jeffe Williams, Efq. Mansfield, do. 

Col. Levi Wells, Ellington, do. 

Col. Daniel Whitmore, Sunderland, MafTachufetts^ 
Dr. Lewis White, New Grantham, do. 

Capt. John Watfon, Canaan, Connecticut, 
Capt. Joel Ward, Afhford, do. 

Capt. Daniel White, Coventry, do. 

Capt. Ichobud Wadfworth, Ellington, do. 
Capt?» Amos Wilfon, Torrington, do. 

Adam Whitman, jun. Hartford, do. 

Afhbel Wells, jun. merchant, do. do. 

Payfon Wellifton, New-Haven, do, 


Mr. David Webfter, Berlin, Connecticut, 

Sylvefter Woodbridge, «Southampton, MafTa- 
John Walker, jun. Bolton, Connecticut, 
«Samuel Warren, Eaft Haddam, do. 

Joieph Wilber, Richmond, MafTachufetts, 

7 books, 
Ezra Waldo Weld, Springfield, 2 books, do. 
Thomas White, Bolton, Connecticut, 
Ezra Watermon, do. do. 

Ncah Wells, Eaft Windfor, do. 

Caleb Wright, N. Marlborough, MafTachufetts 
«Samuel Woodbridge, A. M. Hartland, Con- 
<* necticut, 

Noadiah Warner, Hadley, MafTachufetts, 
Mofes Warren, jun. Lyme, Connecticut, 

Elifha Wade, 'do. do. 

Caleb White, Plainfield, do. 

Andrew Ward, N. One, MafTachufetts, 7 books 

Thomas Warner, Afhfield, do. 

Eleazer Warner, «Sunderland, do. 

Ifaiah Woodruff, Winchester, Connecticut, 

Nathaniel W r hite, do. do. 

Samuel Whateley, Montville, do. 






I. V^iOnCerning the Nature of trie Gcfpel Miniilry 26 

II. i he Qualifications of a Minifter of the Word of 
God 30 

III. Preparation and Vocation to the Miniilry 35 

IV. The Method of Theological Study 41 

V. A general Idea of Theology 44 

VI. The conftituent Parts of Theology 52 
S E C T I O N I. Of Chriftian Theology. 

Concerning the Sacred Scripture. 

Chap. I. Concerning the Books which conftitute S. S. $5 

IT. The Attributes of S. S. 59 

III. TheUfeof S. S. 76 

S E C T I O N IT. Concerning God. 

Chap. I. Concerning the Exigence of God 84 

II. The Attributes of God 9-2 

III. The Holy Trinity 1 1 \ 

The Firft P-.rt of Theology. 

Concerning the Time which preceded the Advent ofChriJ}. 

Chap. I. Concerning the Creation 120 

II. Providence 130 

III. Sin 145 

IV. Decrees 156 

V. The Antediluvian World 164 

VI. The Caiiing cf Abraham 168 

VII. The LawofMofes 173 
Vill. The Prophets 179 

IX. The various State of the Jews 183 

X. the State of other Nations 189 

The hatter P trt of Theology^ 

Cotaerning the Time fuhfc quern to the Ad-vent ofChrifi. 

SECTION I. Chap. I. Concerning John tlx.Baptifl 197 

S E CTIO N IT . Concerning Jefui Chrijl. 

Ci>ap. I. That Je r us is the Mdkah 204 

II. Concerning 

{ xxiv ] 

IX. Concerning the Perfon of Chriit 210 

III. His threefold Office 213 

IV. His- twofold State 227 
SECTION III. Concerning the Conptiition of the Church. 

Chap. I. Concerning the Million of the Holy Spirit 234 

II. The Preaching of the Apoftles 238 

III. The Deftruclion of the Jews 241 

IV. The Calling of the Gentiles 246 

V. The Conflitution of the Church 249 
SECTION IV. Concerning the Define which is 

preached in the Church, 

Chap. I. Concerning Faith 253 

II. Repentance 264 

III. Good Works 272 

IV. Promifes and Threatnings 284 

V. Justification 291 

VI. Santtification 298 
SECTION V. Concerning the Church. 

Chap. I. What we are to under ftand by the Church 304 

II. Church Government 314 

III. Difcipline 322 

IV. The various State of the Church 330 
SECTION VI. Concerning the Siflijlancss to Salvation. 

Chap. I. Concerning Internal Affiftances 336 

II. External Amftances 340 

III. Sacraments 343 

IV. Baptifm 350 

V. The Holy Supper 355 
SECTION VII. Concerning a future World. 

Chap. I. Concerning the State of Man after Death 367 

II. The End of the World 373 

III. The RefurrecYion 376 

IV. The Lad Judgment 382 

V. Life Eternal 389 

VI. Death Eternal 395 


C O M P E N D 

o F 




WHOEVER afpires after the facred office of 
a Miniller of the Gofpel, previous to all 
other considerations, ought maturely to consider 
what is the fcope of his ftudies, or wherein the 
method and nature of that molt, facred function 
confifts •, this is neceflary, in order that he might 
turn his attention towards himfelf, and be well 
affured, whether his vocation to it be from God, 
as likewife, that he might fully comprehend what 
he has to undergo, in order that he might become 
a fit paftor of Chrift's flock. 

In our preface, therefore, we mail endeavour 

to explain the three following particulars. FiHL 

Wherein the nature of the miniftry of the Gofpel 

D conjiite. 

z6 The Preface. 

confifts. Second. What qualifications are reqtii- 
/ite in a Minifter of the word of God. Third. 
What preparation is BecetTary, in order to the 
undertaking this office in a proper manner. 

TH E duty and office of a mrnifter of the 
Church confifts of four parts. Firft. To 
teach or announce the dodtrine of the Gofpel. 
Second. To celebrate divine worfhip, and be em- 
ployed about facred things. Third. To prefide 
over the Church, and rule the flock. Fourth. To 
be entirely devoted to piety. 

I. The firft duty :s to teach. For firicc know- 
ledge is the fountain from which all religion, faith 
and piety do fpring, it was therefore the divine 
pleafure to conftitute, or fet apart a certain order 
of men in his Church, whofe peculiar office mould 
be to inftruct others. Matt. xx'viii. 19. 2 Tim. 
iv. 2. Tit. i, 9. AHb, Eph. iv. ji. There Pa ftors 
are termed Doctors, or Teachers •, but now it is 
the duty of fuch to teach, both what we are to 
believe, and what we ought to praeTife, in order 
that we may become partakers of falvation. This 
cannot othcrwife be accomplifhed better, than by 
expounding the word of God in it's genuine purity 
and fimplicity •, efpecially by imbuing the minds 
of younger perfons, or children, with the greateft 
care and folicitude, with the -knowledge of religion •, 
but this being granted by ail,- we mould not fpenct 
time in proving it. 

II. Ministers 

Upon the Natjire of the Mimjlry of the G. 27 

II. Ministers are appointed for this purpofe, 
Viz. to celebrate divine worfhip, and to be em- 
ployed aboi.-t things that are iacred, as prayer, 
praifes, reading the Scripture, acfffiiiiiftfation of 
die faCraments, and whatever other things apper- 
tain to the worfhip of God. See Acts vi. 4. xiil. 
1. 2. 3. 4. &c. To this refers that antient infti- 
tution, obferved in the Jewiih, as well as in the 
Chriftian Church, by which the Priefts, Levites, 
likewHe Biihops, and the whole body of the Cler- 
gy, were officially bound to attend facred conven- 
tions at certain hours, to read and recite certain por- 
tions of Scripture, prayers, and praifes, which pious 
inftitution has fallen into difufe among us, not 
without a fignal detriment to the Church. 

III. The office of Minifters confifts in the go- 
vernment of the Church, and in the care of their? 
flocks, as we mail demonstrate more fully in it's 
proper place. But this much we thought proper* 
to obferve at our entrance upon Theology, be- 
caufe an opinion hath almoit univerfally prevailed 
in our churches, that the office of paftors is fully 
difcharged by the preaching of the word, and ad- 
ministration of the facraments. But fcarcely did 
any opinion more dangerous ever infect the minds 
of mankind than this, which defines Minilters as 
being no more than preachers, or teachers, who at 
certain hours and appointed feafons, harangue the 
multitude, recite prapt:rs, and celebrate certain 
external rites in the Church. There is (bmething 
in the cafe no lefs neceflary, but far more difficult, 
viz. the government of the Church, and the care 

D 2 

aS fhe Preface. 

of fouls. See i Tim. Hi. 5. Heb. xiii. 17. Which 
duty, indeed, ought to be performed, not only in 
a bublic, but likewife in a private manner, and in 
every particular family. Acts xx. 20. Now, this 
may be accomplished by adrnonifhing each private 
peribn, reprehending ftnners, exciting the flothful 
and remifs, comforting the afflicted, announcing 
remifTion of fins to the penitent, and the wrath of 
God againft fuch as are obitinate. Add to this, 
the exercife of difcipline, expelling unworthy per- 
fons the communion of the facraments, nay, the 
excommunication of fuch as are deeply immerfed 
in vice, and obdurate, who with the greater!: 
effrontery, dare to tranfgrefs iii the moft public 
manner. All thefe acls are eflential to the office 
of a Miniiter, hot by any modern inftitution of 
men, but the appointment of God, without the 
difcharge of which, the Church can by no means 
be preserved in it's purity and fafety. 

IV. The fourth duty of a Mimfter of the 
word of God, is a prevailing defire after godli- 
nefs, and purity of life and manners. That re- 
markable pafTage in 1 Tim. iii. refers to t'his, 
where the Apoffcle profefledly treats of the duties 
requifite in a Bifhop, and in the firft place menti- 
ons, that he fhould be blamelefs : This piety to- 
wards God, and purity of life, is requifite in Mini- 
iters, not merely as it conduceth to their own fal- 
vation, but chiefly as it is productive of influence 
and authority to their doctrine and office, nay 
even to their very perfons ; whereas, on the con- 
trary, all the power and energy of their preaching 


Upon the Nature of the Minijlry of the G. 29 

is entirely loft, the whole authority of paftors va 
rnflieth, if they are defective in this (ingle point. 
Befides, fuch is the nature of the duties belonging 
to this moft facred office, that they cannot be dis- 
charged by any perfon, not really pious, fuch as 
teaching, exhortation, confolation, reprehenfion, 
prayer, &c. Moreover, they are called for this 
very purpofe, viz. that they might rule the 
Church by their example, and prefide over others. 
j Pet. v. 3. There the Apoftle teacheth us, that 
Prefbyters ought to be men of fuch characters, as 
Jthat they might be deemed proper examples to 
their flocks. This they may attain to, if they are 
but conftantly intent upon prayer and meditation, 
not only to be {^cn of men, but which is the prin- 
cipal part of their duty, they ought always to 
consider themfelves, as acting in the prefence of 
God. We find the Apoftle Paul, in all his Eph- 
tles, intent upon prayer and thankfgivings, in be- 
half of the Church, upon all occafions. So that 
to conclude, he is to be deemed a true Minifter 
of God, who daily implores his aid, confults him 
upon every occurrence in life, has recourfe unto 
him at all times, entertains the moft grateful af- 
fections towards him, and earneftiy recommends 
to his care and protection the flock committed to 
his charge, with every particular member thereof, 
according to what every one's ftate and neceftity 
may require. To pray without ceaftng, I fay, is 
the primary, and moft excellent part ^of the pafto- 
ral office, and this I do recommend with the 
greater earneftnefs, becaufe even Minifters them- 
felves, or fuch as are coadjutors in their office, 


p 3 

3Q fhe Prface. 

are not fifficiently attentive to this important part 
of their duty and facred function. 


Of the Qualifications of a Mini ft er nf the Word of God. 

THE firft qualification requisite in a Minifter 
of the word of God, is piety -, this is evi- 
dent from that pafTage in Tim. iii. quoted above^ 
to which the greater!: attention mould be paid, by 
foch as afpire after the office of the. Holy Mini- 
stry. A Minift- r, indeed, ought to be furnifhed 
with a variety of endowments, but he ought efpe- 
cially to be fin cere and blamelefs. A Bifhop, fays 
Paul, ihould be blamelefs, Which words denote, 
that this is a neceffiary and primary prerequisite, 
or, as it is exprefied, a caufe, without which, none 
can with propriety, discharge the miniflerial office. 
This is the principal, and aimed only thing, that 
Paul urges in the paffage which we have quoted, 
tut what we are to underftand by being blame- 
lefs, he declares more at large, when he enume- 
rates the feveral virtues which ihould adorn the 
Epifcopal character, as alfo, thofe vices which he 
ought to avoid •, from whence it appears, that this 
piety, or fincerfty of heart, confifts of thefe three 
following degrees, 

i. That he be flee from all thofe blemimes 
which might be injurious to his character, dimi- 
nish his authority, or be detrimental to his confer- 
ence ; Thefe Paiii makes mention, of, viz. the 

Upon the Qualifications of a Mmiftcr of the G» 3 I 

love of pleafurc, intemperance in drinking, avarice, 
the love of gain, rage, pride. 

2. Th'AT he mould be pcfTefTed of all thofe vir- 
tues which ought to be confpicuous in all Chriiu-- 
ans, but in an eminent degree, mould add luftre 
to the minifterial character, fuch as fobriety, chafr 
tity, charity, gentlenefs, humility. 

3. Real and unfeigned piety, which- is featect 
in the heart, and is productive of this efFeel:, vi& 
that he appears to be pious, not only in the efti- 
mation of mankind, which hypocrites may eaiily 
attain to, but he is ideally £> in the judgment of 

II. The fecond requifite, is- an ardent zeal for 
promoting the glory 01 God, and the falvation of 
mankind. If any one be animated with this, it 
will be always attended with it's inseparable con- 
comitants, unremitting labour, afliduity, vigi- 
lance, prayer, conftancy, and laftly, a wonderful 
power and energy of fpeech ; on the. other hand, 
if zeal be wanting, fo will all other qualifications. 
So that here we may with propriety apply to zest, 
what Paul fpeaks< concerning charity. 1 Cor. xiii. 
J-. 2. 3. Though I fpeak with the tongues of 
men and of angels, 1 am become as founding 
brafs* or a tinkling cymbal, though I underltar.d- 
all myiteries, and all knowledge, and have net 
charity, I am nothing. Now, this zeal confifts of 
two things. Firft. An ardent deflre to promote 
the glory of God, and, the reiteration of piety, 


3 * Vbt Preface. 

above all other attainments, laying afide all folici- 
tude about riches, honours, and other earthly 
emoluments. Second. Chearfulnefs and activity, 
in profecuting fuch means, as may be mo ft effectu-. 
al to promote this glory and edification. Though, 
dangers, hatred, contempt, nay, even death itfelf, 
await us. 

III. The third requisite Is knowledge, in order 
that he might be capable of inftructing others. 
He ought, lays Paul, to hold faft the faithful 
word, as he hath been taught» that he may be 
2b\t^ by found doctrine, both to exhort, and to 
convince the^ gair.fayers. Tit. i. 9, Here two 
things are to be obferved. Firft. Caution mould 
be ufed, left this knowledge be too extenfive. 
Second. That it fhould not be confined within too 
narrow bounds. In order to avoid which ex- 
tremes, the following rule is to be obferved, viz. 
that this knowledge is to be derived from the 
word of God. What Paul affirms, 2 Tim. iii. 
16. 17. merits the clofeft attention - 5 here he ex- 
prefsly aflerteth, that the Sacred Scripture can 
make the man of God, i. e. a Biftiop, perfect or 
fiarniftied out for every good work, i. e. duely 
qualified for thedifchargc of every part of his of- 
fice. Therefore, a Pallor ought to ufe his utmoft 
efforts in order to acquire a cornprehenfive know- 
ledge of the word of God, fo that he might be 
capable of expounding it to others -, for which 
purpofe, let liim caii to his affiftaiKC the know- 

Upon the Qualifications of a Minifter of the 6. 33 

Ledge of the languages, hiilory, and fome other 
branches of literature. 

2. Another thing to be obferved, with re- 
fpect to this knowledge, and that of the greater!: 
importance, is, that it is twofold, theoretical, and 
practical * the former respecting the underftanding, 
the latter the heart and affections, the one refts in 
fimple knowledge, the other confifts in ardent 
breathings after piety. The former is attained by 
much reading, meditation, and a tenacious me- 
mory, tht latter, by fervent prayers, a devote 
habit of mind, and an ardent defire after godlinefs, 
the one may be attained by the wicked, the other 
is only the portion of fuch as are truely pious. 
Now, this lall kind of knowledge, or fcience, 
which we call practical, is that alone which merits 
the appelation of true, or real fcience, without 
which, whatever comes under the denomination of 
fcience, and erudition, is vain, trifling, nay, often- 
times hurtful, 

IV. Uncommon prudence muft be united to 
knowledge, for very much depends upon a teach- 
er, or ruler of the Church, in conducting himfelf 
prudently in the difcharge of every part of his 
office, in teaching, rebuking, admin iftration of 
difcipline, vifitation of the fick, and the other 
branches of his duty, this may be done, by hav- 
ing a refpect to time, place, perfons, and a vari- 
ety of other circumftances. But this prudence 
and fkilfulnefs in conducting ecclefiaftical affairs, 
which is rarply to be met with in younger perfons, 


34 The Pnefac*. 

may be obtained two ways. Firft. By reading 
fuch authors, as treat of the difcipline of the ant:- 
ent Church, from thefe may be obtained, a true 
idea of Church government, rather than from any 
modern inftkutions or cuftoma. Second. From 
ufage and experience, younger perfons QUgbt to 
be cautious, left the judgment they form, mould- 
proceed from levity, want of consideration, 03? 
paftion •, but from an habitual fedatenefs and tran- 
quility of mind •, they mould likewife learn the 
nature of the Paftoral Office, by converting and 
correfponding with fuch fenior perfons as excel- in- 
experimental knowledge. 

V. In the laft place. There are various gifts 
neceffary for a paftor, fo that he might be ren- 
dered fit, both to inftruci and rule over the 
Church : The former fitnefs is pointed out to us 
by Paul 1. Tim. iii. 2. where he fays, That a 
Bimop ought to be apt, or fit to teach, but 
the latter, verfe 5. where he fays, That this 
is required, in order that he might become 
capable, of pre/iding over, and guarding the 

These endowments, or gifts, are peculiar to 
the mind, or to the body. Among the endow- 
ments of the mind, a iirm and upright judgment, 
in conjunction with lingular prudence, occupies 
thefirft, and principal room after piety, here we 
underftand, that faculty, by which we form an 
accurate judgment upon proportions laid down, 
by which we can determine what ought to be 


Upon Preparation arJ Vocation to the S. M. 35 

done in a variety of cafes, and with what art and 
{kill the confcicncies of men are to be governed, 
paying a due regard to various circiurvftances. If 
anv one is destitute of this faculty* it were better 
for him, to turn his attenfion to fame other em- 
ployment in life. Again, ingenuity, fagacity, 
and perfpicuity, are requifite, in order to arrive 
at eaiy and diftinct conceptions of things, and to 
!?e enabled to expound them with clearncis toothers, 
fcere we may likxwiie add, a retentive memory, 
which is requifite, particularly in fuch, as have to 
deliver their fermons without book. 

The endowments of the body are well known 
of themfelves, viz. fug h as appertain to the facuU 
ty of fpeech, and oratory, as. a firm voice, pro-» 
per pronunciation, the faculty of fpeaking with 
readinefs and expedition,, and others of the like 
nature, thefe are partly implanted in us by nature 8 
and partly may be improved, or even acquired by 
labour and exercife, fo much may fuince to be ob- 
ferved concerning gifts, or endowments. 


Of Preparation and Vocation. tt> the. Sacred, Minijlry. 

FIRST. We fhall treat of the vocation. Se- 
cond. The preparation necefiary for the office 
or an Evangelical jf aftor. 

I. Whoever hath applied his mind to the fiudy 
of Theclogy, with a view to diichaige the c£ke cf 

a ftfto? 

$6 <£he Preface. 

a pador in the Church of Chrift, ought to turn his 
attention towards himfelf, and be fully convinced, 
whether his call be from God, for as they offend 
who reject his call, fo are they guilty of an attro- 
cious crime, and faerilegious temerity, who, with- 
out being called, do ambitioufly fue for it, con- 
cerning whom, it may be juftly faid, as we read in 
the Prophets, They run, but I had not (cnt them. 
Jer. xxiii. 21. Therefore, I befeech you, in the 
mod: ferious manner, and in the name of God, to 
give the clofeft attention to this, even at your very 
entrance upon theological ftudies. 

Two things are requisite to a legitimate call, 
the flrft of which depends upon men, for in order 
that a call may be lawful, it is necerTary that it 
ihould proceed from the paftors and governors of 
the Church, who are vefted with the right of exa- 
mining, admitting, and rejecting fuch as are can- 
didates for the Miniftry, as plainly appears from 
the Epiftles of Paul. Such a vocation is altoge- 
ther necefiary, as it tends to good order, and de- 
cency in the Church. Therefore, Paul commands 
Bimops and Deacons, to try and examine, pre- 
vious to admirTion. 1. Tim. iii. 10. The other 
call is internal, viz. That a perfon mould dedi- 
cate himfelf to God with his whole heart, and 
mofl fincere affections, and be confeious, that he 
derlres a bifhoprick, for no other caufe, but to 
ierve God, and the Church, fuch a perfon is in- 
deed called by God himfelf-, and this may be 
eafily underftood by his piety, zeal, humility, 
deyotion ? fervent prayers, and purity of life and 


Upon Preparation and Vocation to the S. M. 37 

maimers. If a Minifter be deftitute of this call, 
and yet be called and ordained of men, his call 
may indeed be lawful, as far as it refpecxs the 
order of the Church, and^ may, in fome mea- 
fure, tend to edification, vet it mud: be perni- 
cious to the Minifter himfelf, of lefs advantage 
to the Church, and too audacious in the fight of 

II. Concerning preparation, three things are 
to be confidered, viz. piety, fedulity, and doci- 

I. Piety conftitutes- the primary, and princi- 
pal part of preparation, and is of equal moment 
to aH the reft, for if this be attained,- the reft will 
not be wanting ; fedulity will not, for piety ba- 
nifheth flothfulnefs, and indolence, and excites to 
activity, and diligence. Neither will docility, for 
he who is truly pious, is at the greateft diftance 
from pride and arrogance, which are its greateft 
adverfaries, he who is pious, is alfo humble, en- 
tertains the mod humiliating fentiments, with ref- 
pect to himfeif, is en flamed with a defire to rind 
out truth, and chearfully embraceth it, when pro- 
pofed. Chrift teacheth the necefTity of this piety, 
John vii. 17. If any one will do the will of God, 
he mail know of the doctrine. But piety confifts 
of two parts, viz. Firft. External devotion, and 
daily prayer. Second. Purity of heart, and inno- 
cence of life, but efpecialiy young men, who are 
preparing to undertake the facred office of the 
Miniltry, ought to avoid carnal luft?, according to 


3$ the Prcfatl. 

Paul's admoniti6n. 2. Tim. ii. 22. efpectal!? 
flothfulnefs, pride, and pleafures. 

II. SedulitV, and diligence. In antient 
times j the men of God were frequently taught by 
tevelatiotis, and moved by inspirations, fo that 
Vvithout much labour and ftudy, at certain times, 
they could fpeak in his name, but in the prefent 
times, there is need for the clofeft application. 1 . 
Tim. iv. 1 ^. 14. Give attendance to reading, to 
exhortation, to doctrine, neglect not the gift that is 
in thee. 

The necerTity of this fedulity appears, as Well 
from the dignity, and inn ortance of this facfed 
office, as the variety, multiplicity, and amplitude 
of Theological fhidies. For various is the prepa- 
ration, that the man of God may be duly furnifh- 
ed for the difcharge of fo important an office 
fuch as an extenfive knowledge of the Scripture, 
daily meditation, a thorough acquaintance with 
the languages, and ecclefiaftical difcipline, that 
divine art, neceflary for the government of fouls, 
and innumerable other things, any one of which, 
taken feparately, requires great labour and pains, 
but complexly, ingrofs all the faculties cf the hu- 
man foul. 


There are two faults commonly to be met 
with in young men, which oppofe fedulit/ ; the 
firft is indolence, or flothfulnefs, which may be 
juftly termed, the pert of youth, and fountain 


Upon Preparation and Vocation to the S. M. 39 

both of ignorance and vice, for this reafon it is that 
fo few worthy Minifters are to be found. 

The latter is levity, and inconftancy, (o natural 
to youth, this is the caufe, why the greateft part 
of young men, upon the very commencement of 
their ftudies, turn flothfu-, fly from one kind of 
ftudy to another, do nothing accurately, ?A\d 
nioftly abhor fuch as require long time, and clofe 

III. Docility comprehends the four following 
particulars. Firft. A confcioufnefs of ignorance \ 
he who imagines he has already attained to know- 
ledge, will never tamely fubmit to inftruclion, 
this fenfe of ignorance is especially reqaifite in 
young men, becaufe, the age of youth is an age 
of ignorance. And yet it frequently happen*, 
that young men will by no means acknowledge 
their ignorance, but when they have juft faluted 
the firft principles of erudition, imagine them* 
felves considerable pohxients in knowledge, the 
truth is, the more learned any perfon is, the more 
humiliating fentiments will he entertain refpecung 
himfeif, whereas, nothing is more {welled with 
pride than a perfon illiterate. Second. A mind dif- 
pofed for learning, ardor, and zeal for attaining this 
facrcd difcipline. "Whoever is void of this defire, 
muft neceffatily abide in ignorance. Third. At- 
tention, without which there is no docility, he who 
does not attend to proportions laid before him, 
mufl: either reject them totally, or otherwife admit 
them, by a certain blind aficnt, or impulfe, both 


40 The Prefaccl 

of which are noxious to docility. So that he is a 
teachr.ble fcholar, who makes it his duty to give 
due attention to whatever inftru&ions he either 
hears, or reads, and ponders them in his mind, 
fo as to attain clear and diftinct ideas of things. 
Fourth. Laftly, he is docile, who tamely fubmits to 
inftruction and guidance, yields to the truth when 
known, and admits it. On the other hand, he is 
incapable of inftrudtion, who will not yield to it, 
who is pertinaciously addicted to his own opinion, 
has always new fcruples, and new difficulties to 
move, new queftions to ftart, and fomething to 
retort. If any young man is fo unhappy, as to 
labour under this rlngle difadvantage, though he 
has all other gifts, of the moil excellent kind, and 
hath obtained the moft celebrated matters, adieu 
to him, he will be pertinacious through the whole 
of his life, morofe, hated by all, a difturber of 
the peace of the Churchy and will eafily fall into 
error : Students ufually transfer this malignant 
turn of mind from the ftudy of Philofophy, errone- 
oufly inilituted, and academical deputations, to the 
ftudy of Theology. 

To conclude, there are two things very injuri- 
ous to docility, viz. prejudices, and a propenfity 
to vice, the one precludes accefs to truth, the other 
precludes accefs to virtue, the former cafts a dark* 
nefs on the underftanding, the latter depraves the 
will, both alienate from the love and knowledge or 
falutary doclrine. 

IV. Of 

Of the Method of Theological Study. 41 


Of the Method of Theological Study. 

A GREAT deal depends upon the order and 
method of ftudies : Many caufes might be 
afligned, why young men, who have devoted 
themfelves to the ftudy of Theology, have made 
fo flow a progrefs in it : But this, I think, may 
be ranked among the firft. For the mod part, they 
attempt it without order : Neither is this a matter 
of wonder, for the greater!: part of them are left 
to themfelves, without any director, or guide, or 
otherwife, put under the tuition of mafters, who 
are far from being qualified for the purpofe -, fome 
adopting a prepofterous method, others applying 
no method at all. What ought to be done firft, 
they overlook, and treat of fubjecls, not fuitable 
for beginners •, they take up the firft book that is 
offered by chance, and the whole of their proceed- 
ings are attended with confufion, which want of me- 
thod, retards the progrefs of ftudies, and is the pa- 
rent of ignorance and confufion. 

Ik order, therefore, to difcover my own fenti- 
ments, relative to the method of Theological ftu- 
dy, in the firft place, I would obferve, before I 
treat of Theology itfelf, that there are fome kinds 
of ftudy, which ought to precede, or even be annex- 
ed to it, 

E A- Thb 

42 'The Preface. 

1. THEfirftis the flu dy of the languages, tC- 
pecially Latin, the utility of which, extends itfelf 
to almoft all fciences, but efpecially Theology : 
Likewife, Greek and Hebrew, which, it is plain, 
are necerfary, in order to attain aft accurate 
knowledge of the Sacred Scripture. Now, the 
ftudy of the languages is peculiarly adapted to 
youth, becaufe, in that age they are attained with 
greater eafe. With refpecl to the languages, this 
rule is to be obferved, much practice, and but few 
precepts. The knowledge of them may be attained 
with little trouble, by frequent reading, daily exer- 
cife, and repeated interpretation. 

2. Some knowledge of Philofophy is alio re* 
quifite, viz. fo much as is neceiTary for the inve-» 
(ligation of truth, and to direct the mind, in a 
proper method of reafoning. Logic is of fervicc 
to this purpofe. The other branches of Philofo- 
phy, though not contemptible, yet are not of fuch 
utility. But here caution mould be ufed, left 
vain curiofity, too much fubtility, a fpirit, of con- 
tradiction, or an itching defire for disputation, be 
extracted from it, thefe are the common foibles of 

These things being premifed, we come to The- 
ology itfelf, and here it is to be obferved, that at 
their very entrance upon Theological ftudy, they 
ought to begin with the reading of the Sacred 
Scripture, and perfeyere in it, through their whole 
life-time, according to that of Paul, 2 Tim. iii. 
where he fays, that the Sacred Scripture can 


Upon the Method of Theological Study. 43 

make the man of God perfect -, and here again, 
method mould be ufed, the hiflorical books ought 
to be firit read, again, fuch are the dogmatical, 
and moral, and then the Prophets, concerning this, 
fee Zaufmus's Differ tation on the Nature of Theo- 
logical Study. 

2. To the reading of the Scripture ought to be. 
annexed, Sacred Hiftory, extracted from a mort 
compend of Hiftory and Chronology, which 
ought indeed, to be carefully perufed, and under- 
ftood by beginners, fo that they might have an ac- 
curate knowledge of the principal epochas, molt 
memorable events, illuftrious men, and other things 
of funilar importance, according to the order of the 
different periods of time, 

3. Before they come to a more tedious ftudy 
of the feveral topicks of Theology, they ought 
to have their minds furnifhed with a more general 
idea of it. Beginners ought to avoid all prolix: 
authors, and lay them entirely afide, until a more 
proper feafon ; let it fuitice them for the prefent, to 
have fome fhort and fimple compend of Chriftian 
Theology, nay, even a Catechifm. For the ca- 
pital points of Theology are treated in Cate- 
chifms. Formerly, in the Primitive Church, no 
fuch perfons were to be found, as we at prefent 
call ProfefTors, but only Catechifts. Such a com- 
pend ought to be ferioufly, and frequently read, 
until it be firmly riveted in the memory. After- 

E 2 

44 the Preface. 

wards let them proceed to the ftudy of more prolix, 
and fpecial fy items; 

4. The Scholaftick method ought to be avoid- 
ed, which may juftly be termed the peft of Theo- 
logy and Religion, that method, viz. which by 
various distinctions, fc hoi aftick terms, and infigni- 
fieant queftions, fpreads a vail over the doctrine of 
tho, Gofpel, which is plain and perfpicious in 
i'tfelf, and reduces it to a hard fcience. Indeeed, 
if the Apoftles were again fent into the world, 
and examined according to the Scholaftick me- 
thod, they could fcarcely anfwer their queftions, 
but would plainly tell them, that they never heard 
any fuch things from Chrift, nor were taught them 
by the Holy Ghoft. 

Such things are to be met with in many fy ft ems, 
and in what they term common heads, where every 
argument is explained by matter, form, efficient, 
instrumental, and final caufes, &c. 

A general idea oj "theology \ 

IN order to perform what we hutjuft no^v pro- 
mifed, let us here exhibit a general idea of 
Theology. It is a doctrine, which teacheth the 
knowledge and worfhip of God, in order that we 
might obtain eternal life, or, according to Paul, Tit. 
i. it is the knowledge of the truth, which is ac- 
cording to godiiaefc. There are two things to be 



A general Idea of Theology 45 

bferved, therefore, in Theology, viz. the know- 
ledge and worfhip of God, or, truth and piety. It 
teacheth us what we ought to believe, and what 
we ought to praetife, in order that we may become 
partakers of eternal life •, hence it is clear, that 
Theology is not a fcience, which confifls totally in 
theory, but likevvife, and principally, in practice. 

1. It is a theoretical fcience, for it is quite 
neceflary to begin with knowledge, and the doc- 
trine of faith mud have the precedency, fince 
without faith, no worfhip can be pleafing to God. 
Ileb. xi. 6. This we obferve, in oppofition to fuch 
as are heedlefs, with refpect to any knowledge 
concerning the feveral articles of the Chriftian 
Faith, and look upon it as a matter of indiffe- 
rence, what fet of principles they efpoufe, provid- 
ing that they urge the practice and ftudy of vir- 
tue. Which opinion is, indeed, falfe, and contra- 
dictory, and totally overthrows piety, which cannot 
exift, unlefs it be founded upon the knowledge of 
the truth. 

2. But it is no iefs certain, that Theology is 
a fcience totally practical, which does not confift 
in bare contemplation, but wholly tends to prac- 
tice, this is proved from the word of God. 1 
Tim. i. 4. 5. Godly edifying is by faith, more- 
over, the end of the commandment is charity. 
And Mat. vii. 2 1 . Not every one that fayeth unto 
me, Lord ! Lord ! fhall enter into the kingdom of 
Heaven, but he that doth the will of my Father, 
which is in Heaven, and John ii. 4. If ye know 

E 3 

46 The Preface. 

thefe things, happy are ye if ye do them, i John 
ii. 4. He that fayeth, I know him, and keepeth 
net his commandments, is a liar. This alfo ap- 
pears, from the nature and fpirit of the Chriftian 
religion. For if we take a view of the fever al 
parts of the Chriftian doctrine, it will appear, that 
they have fuch reference to piety and practice, as, 
that this point being giyen up, the whole of reli- 
gion may be difmifed, and will be of no utility. 
The feveral articles of the Chriftian religion, are 
fuch as tend to produce piety, this may be faid 
of what it delivers, concerning the attributes of 
God, his power, knowledge, and mercy, and 
concerning his Providence, as likewife, the perfon, 
End office of our Saviour. The precepts are giv- 
en for practice only, and would not be precepts, 
if they were given only in order that they might 
be known, but not put into practice. The pro- 
rnifes entirely prefuppofe piety, as they arc made 
to thofe only, who are truly pious. 1 . Tim. iv. 
8. And they would ceafe to be promifes, if, let us 
Jive as we lift, we were made partakers of the hap- 
pintfs propofed. 

The threatnings would be attended with no 
force or energy, and would only merit the appela- 
tion of bugbears, if the neceftity of obedience 
•were excluded. Bare knowledge, deftitute of pi- 
ety, would be fo far from being available, that it 
would rather be an augmentation, to the degree 
of punifhment. Luke xii. 4. 7. The fervant that 
knoweth his rnafter's will, and doth it not, cVc. 
JLet us actend to what Paul fays of empty know- 

*A general Idea of Theology 47 

ledge, which is net accompanied with piety and 
chanty. 1. Cor. viii. and xiii. 

Here two things ought particularly to be at- 
tended to, by fuch as embrace the ftudy of The- 
ology, viz. that this practice confifts of two parts, 
the one refpecting themfelves, viz. that they 
would unite the dafire of piety with the know- 
ledge of Theojogy •, the other refers to the Pa£o- 
ral Office, and edification of the Church, viz. that 
they fhould always have in view, to proceed in 
fuch a manner in their ftudies, as might be mof£ 
effectual in promoting the falvation of others, and 
imbuing the minds of mankind, not only with the 
knowledge of God, and of the truth, but likewife 
with an affectionate fenfe .of piety. 

From what has been observed, concerning the 
nature of Theology in general, appears the tran- 
fcendant dignity, .and excellency of this fcience, 
and confequently of Theological ftudy, and the 
facred office of the Miniftry. This appears both 
from the object of Theology, and it \ end. It's 
object is God himfelf, his nature, attributes and 
works, than which, nothing can be conceived 
more excellent. It's end again recommends it 
moft highly, for it teacheth by what methods 
men may attain real, perfect, and endleft felici- 
ty •, and here there is flill fomething more excel- 
lent and fublime, viz. that the end of Theolo- 
gy, with refpect to Minifters themfelves, is the 
glory of God, and the falvation of fouls. Which 
ought to inflame candidates for his holy office, 


48 "The Preface. 

with the greateft ardor, when undertaking their 
Theological ftudies. 

But, that the nature of Theology may be more 
fully uncierilood, the following particulars are to be 

i. True Theology, is that which is derived 
from the word of God. For, fince the word of 
God is the method by which he hath determined to 
lead mankind to the knowledge of himfelf, it muft 
confequently be the only fountain of true Theology. 
Therefore the principal duty and ftudy of a Divine, 
will be to read and meditate upon the sacred Scrip- 
tures, i Tim. hi. 17. 

2. Theology is a doctrine very fimple and 
perfpicuous. For it confifts in nothing elfe, but 
the knowledge of religion. But religion muft be 
very ample and pkift, fince it was revealed, that 
all men, not only the learned, and fuch as excell in 
parts, but ail men indifcriminately, the rude, and 
plebeans, vnho from the greater!: part of mankind, 
might obtain falvation. Therefore, Theology and 
religion ought to be of fuch a nature, as that it 
might be under&ood by all. 

3. Since the fcope of Theology is the edifica- 
tion and falvation of mankind, it follows, that in 
every doctrine, attention mould be paid to it's uti- 
lity, and that fuch doctrines ought principally to 
be infifttd on, as have the greater!: tendency to 
promote the glory of God, the edification of the 


A general Idea of Theology. 49 

Church, and piety. Neceflary do&rines mould 
be diftinguifhed from filch as are profitable, and 
thole again which are profitable, from fuch as are 

The doctrines are neceffary, without which, 
God cannot be worfhipped, nor falvation obtained, 
fuch as the exiilence of God, that Chrift hath re- 
deemed us, &c. 

These are profitable, which have indeed their 
own ufefulnefs, but are not of abfolute necemty, 
fuch as the understanding certain propnecies, and 
fome doubtful paflages in Scripture. 

But they are deemed ufelefs, which do not in 
any meafure conduce to edification and piety. The 
Sacred Scripture contains none that can be term- 
ed ufelefs •, but here I call them ufelefs, which 
have been blended with necefTary and ufeful ones, 
fuch are the various controversies which have 
been tolled about in fchools. As for inftance, 
concerning the manner of the divine omnipre-r 
fence, the manner of the eternal generation of the 
Son of God, or of the proceffion of the Holy 
Ghoft : And bcfides, it ought to be obferved, that 
thefe unneceffary doctrines, moft commonly turn 
out to be noxious, as when they are propofed as 
necerTary, or rafhly defined, or, when upon their 
account, the peace and tranquility of the Church 
are violated, Izc. And on the other hand, there 
are errors, which may be termed either deadly, 
hurtful, or indifferent. Thefe are deadly which 


£o The Preface'. 

overthrow religion from it's foundation, and are 
destructive to faith and piety. Thofe again are 
noxious, or hurtful, which though not necefiariiy, 
nor at all times, yet, very frequently, and eafily 
are injurious to falvation, and detrimental to pie- 
ty. Tho r e errors, again, are indifferent, on ac- 
count of which, none are excluded from falvation, 
providing they ftill retain fuck doctrines, as are 
fundamental, i Cor. iii. 11-15. Likewife, Rom. 
xiv. &c. No perfon is free from errors of this 

This diftinction is of fignaj ufe in Theology, 
efpecially in treating of controverfies, with which 
our modern Theology abounds, and upon it very 
much depends the peace of the Church, and har- 
mony in fentiments. 

But here it may be enquired, how we are to 
diftinguiih between necefTary and fundamental arti- 
cles of faith, as alfo betwixt fundamental, and dead- 
ly errors. 

With refpect to which queftion, I think that 
tht four following fafe, and iimple rules may be 

I. Whatever doctrine is exprefsly, and fre- 
quently inculcated in Scripture, with the promife 
of falvation, or the threatning of damnation an- 
nexed to it, that doctrine may be termed funda- 
mental -, fuch as that Chrift is the Son of God, that 


A general Idea of theology. 5 1 

he died for the fins of mankind, that good works 
are necefTary, the refurrectipn, judgment, cVc. 

2. That doctrine, which is fo clofely connected 
with a fundamental article, as that laying it afide, 
the other cannot be retained, is fundamental. But 
that doctrine which overthrows any fundamental 
article, is necefiarily, and of itfelf a deadly, or de- 
structive error. 

3. The doctrine which ban'iiheth piety and the 
fear of God, is deftructive, that which doth not 
baniiTi it totally, but diminifheth it, is dangerous, 
but that which doth not promote it, is ufelefs. 

4. Any doctrine necefTary to falvation, cannot 
long and always be concealed from a perfon well 
difpofed, capable of instruction, and who employs 
himfelf fmcerely in queft of truth. I only fpeak. 
here of doctrines that are necefTary, otherwife fuch 
a man might fpend his time in ignorance, nay, 
even in error, with refpect to other points of re- 
ligion. But it is impoilible tjiat he mould err to 
his utter ruin, as might be eafiiy demonftrated 
from Scripture, and invincible arguments, drawn 
from reafen. Therefore, as often as after prayer, 
diligence, and ferious examination, any point 
feems obfeure, or doubtful, fo that it does not 
clearly appear what opinion we ought to embrace, 
or what we ought to believe, then we ought to be 
aiTuredly convinced, that this doctrine, as far as 
it iurpafTeth our comprehenfion, is not necefTary 
to falvation •, I exprefsly mention, as far as it fur- 

55 The Preface, 

pafleth our comprehension, for it may be, and it 
often happens, that a docTrine in other refpe&s fun- 
damental, may be attended with fome obfcurity and 
not clearly revealed in the word of God. 

It is of the greater!: moment in Theology always 
to have an attentiye eye towards thefe rules. 


Of the particular Divifions of "Theology. 

AFTER treating of Theology in general, and 
before we attempt a particular treatife on the 
feveral parts of it, I think it neceflary, in a few 
words, to explain it's method and order. And here, 
indeed, we may obferve, that method is a thing en- 
tirely arbitrary. Hence it is, that Divines have 
adopted various modes, fome applying one method, 
and others another ; but that appears to be berr. and 
moft excellent, which is molt fimple and perfpicu- 
ous, and approacheth neareft to the method of 
Sacred Scrip, that, viz. which is inftituted accord- 
ing to the feries and order of divine revelation, 
and commencing with creation terminates in lifa 
eternal. This is the method obferved in the Apo- 
ftle's Creed, and who would doubt of that order 
being preferable, which God himfelf points out in 
his word. Again, this method is very fimple and 
perfpicuous, and afFifting to the memory. In a 
word, it lays open to our view the various de- 
grees of divine revelation, and confequently the 
confumrnate wifdom of God, and excellency of 


Of the different Parts of theology. 53 

the Chriftian religion. This, therefore, fhall be the 
order of our fvftem. 

The doctrine concerning the Sacred Scripture, 
and concerning God, iriall be premifed, fince thefe 
two are the foundation of univerfal religion, and 
are difrufed through all the capital points of 
Theology. Thefe being premifed, as the Sacred 
Scripture is divided into two parts, viz. the Old 
and New Teftament, fo, likewife, (hall our Theo- 
logy confift of two parts. The firft, concerning 
th& time that preceded (Thrift's advent. The lat- 
ter, concerning the time confequent, viz. from his 
advent until the end of ages. 

In the former part, the creation of the world 
immediately offer? itfelf. The doctrine of Provi- 
dence fhall fucceed creation ; then we fhall treat 
of fin. For fin is the occafion of the whole of the 
divine difpenfation towards men. Again, of the 
decreesof God, refpecting the falvation of mankind. 
Afterwards, according to the feries of times, we 
fhall, Firft. Treat of the period which preceded 
the Flood. Second. The Abraham ick Covenant 
Third. The Law of Mofes. Fourth. The Pro- 
phets. Fifth. The various ftate of the Jews, 
Sixth. The ftate of the other nations. 

In the latter part, we mail treat, Firft. Of the 
Miniftry of John the Baptift. Second. Jefus 
Chrift, his perfon, threefold cfEce, prophetical, fa- 
cerdotal, and regal T and his twofold ftate of hu- 
miliation and exaltation. Third, The everts 


54 The Preface. 

which happened after his exaltation and alcenfion < 
the million of the Holy Ghoft, the preaching of 
the. Apoftles, the deftrudtion q{ the Jews, the cal- 
ling of the Gentiles, an! the conftitution of the 
Chriftian Church. Then we mail proceed to the 
doctrine which is preached in the Chriftian Church, 
which confifts of two parts, Firft. Duties, viz. 
Faith and Repentance. Second. Benefits, or Pro- 
mifes* viz. J unification, and Sanclirication, and 

We mail next treat of the Church itfelf •, of it's 
nature, ftate, and government. Afterwards of the 
afliftances to falvation, whether internal, viz. tht 
grace of the Holy Spirit, or external, as divine wor- 
ftup, the Miniftry, the Sacraments. 

Lastly, we fhall proceed to fuch things as re^ 
(peel: a future world •, fuch are the ftate of fouls after 
death, the end of the world, refurre&ion, judgment* 
life, and death eternal. 

What we have already delivered, exhibits a 
general fynopfis of the different parts of Theology *, 
we come now to a more particular one, of it's feveral 
capital topicks. 


[ 55 } 
O F 



Upon the Holy Scripture. 

Concerning the Sacred Scripture, there are 
three particulars, which offer themfelves to our 
confederation. Firft. Wherein it conffts, or, of 
what books it is cornpofed. Second. What are 
it's attributes. Third. How it is to be uied. 

Chap. I. 

Concerning the Books which compofe the Sacred Scripture* 

THE Sacred Scripture is compofed of the ca- 
nonical books of the Old and New Tefta- 
ment, which we need not here enumerate Angu- 
larly, as they are well known. They are called 
canonical, becaufe they only were antiently repo- 
rted in the Canon, that is the catalogue of facred 
writings, and are a rule of faith and manners. 
The Apocriphal, or as they may be termed, hid- 
den, or concealed books, are excluded from th<L 
canon, becaufe they were net acknowledged as 
divine, nor produced to eftablifh any doctrine* by 


56 &&. I. Chap. I. 

the antient Church. The Roman Church has 1 »- 
ceived them, the third and fourth book of Efira 
being excepted, which are manifeftly fuppoftti- 
tious, and replete with fables. Among other things, 
confult C. VII. as alfo, ihQ third of the Macca- 
bees, and the prayer of Manaffes. We exclude 
the Apocryphal Writings from the Holy Canon, 
not becaufe they would contribute much to fup- 
port the caufe of the Romifh Church,, if they 
were admitted, but becaufe, in ail things truth 
ought to be inquired after, and we think it criminal 
to admit human compofures as divine. But the 
reafons why we rejecl thefe Apocryphal Books, are 
as follow. 

1. Because they have never be?n received, 
either by the Jewifh, or antient Chritlian Church. 
With refpecl to the Jewifh Church, as the moil of 
thefe books were not written in Hebrew, the 
matter is abundantly evident •, : t is alio evident 
from Jofephus againft Appion, and the teftimony 
of the modern Jews. But we may learn the kn^ 
timents of the antient Chriftian Church on this head, 
from the Synod of Laodicea, celebrated at the be- 
ginning of the fourth century, as alfo from Origen, 
Athenafius, Hyeronymus, and others. ' 

2. Because they are not comprehended in that 
celebrated divifion, into which the Jews divided 
the whole Scripture, viz. the Law, the Prophets, 
and the Hagiographa, or holy writing which dif- 
tin&ion Chrift himfelf makes ufe of, and approves* 
Luke xxiv. 44. 

3, Because 

Of the Canonical Books of the S. S. 57 

3. Because there are no exprefs testimonies 
produced out of thefe books in the New Tefta- 
ment, as out of others, though the Apoftles fome- 
times have a refpect, and allude to their hiftories, 
and phrafes. 

4. B-e cause they contain many things which 
prove their writers to be liable to error and human 
infirmity, and cannot poflibly conn* ft with divine 
infpiration, which might be eafily demonftrated, 
from a particular examination of each of thefe 

Yet we do not totally reject them, as neither 
did the antient Church. They were read as books 
ufeful, and as others of human compofure, in their 
facred aflemblies, nay, they were fometimes quoted 
by the Fathers, viz. there were fome books, which 
were of divine infpiration, which were termed 
Protocanonical, viz. fuch as were canonical in the 
higheft fenfe, and others were called Deutorocanoni- 
cal, or ecclefiaftical, viz. fuch as approached neareft 
unto the canon. 

The reading of thefe books is ufeful, and the 
moft of men are culpable for neglecting it : For 
they contain in them, Firft. A feries of Ecclefiafti- 
cal hiftory, efpecially in the writings of the Mac- 
cabees. Second. Excellent moral precepts in the 
books of Ecclefiaflicus, and in the book of Wif- 
dom. Third. By them we are made acquainted 
Avith the opinions which the Jews entertained, re- 
fpecting feveral capital points of religion, before 

F the 

$Z Sat. L Chap. I 

the coming of Chrift, viz. the refurrection, and the 
ftate of fouls, eke. Fourth. There are extant, 
figna-1 examples of piety and conftancy. Fifth* 
Their reading is of great utility, on account of the 
Greek ftyle, which approaches nearcft to the ftyle 
of the New Teftament. Sixth. L^aftly it is cer- 
tain, that by reading them, much light is reflected 
on many parages in the New Teftament, e. g. on 
fuch as are related in the Gofpel, concerning Fleli 
and Paradife, and the refurre&ion, which ought to 
be explained according to the opinion and ufage of 
tho, Jews, who wrote after the captivity. Now, the 
Apocryphal books fully elucidate the opinion of 
thefe Jews, and ihew us, to what fenfe they applied 
thefe different terms and phrafes. 

Let us now return to the Canonical books, 
which are divided into thofe of the Old and New 
Teftament. The Hebrews divided them into the 
Law, the Prophets, and Hageographa, or Holy 
Writings, which diftinction is ftill obferved in the 
Hebrew Bibles, as the order of the Seventy Inter- 
preters is at prefent obferved in ours. The Law 
confifts of the Penteteuch, or Five Books of Mofes. 
.The Prophets are divided into former, viz. thofe 
yvho wrote after Mofes, until the divifion of the 
Ifraelkifh Empire •, and latter, who wrote in fubfe- 
quent times, viz. from that divifion, until Malachi. 
The Plagiographa, or Holy Writings, are the 
■Pfalms, Solomon's writings, Job, Ruth, Lamen- 
tations, Either, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemia, and the 
Books of Chronicles. The books of the New Te- 
, ftament are partly hiftorical, as the Four Gofpels, 


Upon the Attributes of S. S. $g 

the Acts of the Apoftles •, partly dogmatical, as the 
•Epiftles of Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude •, 
one is prophetical, viz. the Revelation. 

Chap. II. 

Of the Attributes of Sacred Scripture. 

THE attributes of Sacred Scripture are it's ne- 
cefiity, integrity, truth, divinity, authority, 
perfection, and perfpicuity. 

L We fuppofe, that a divine revelation was ne- 
cefTary to mankind, which might be proved with- 
out any trouble ; this being granted, it was necef- 
fary, that this revelation mould be configned to 
writing, left that through the negligence, inftabiii- 
ty, or laftly, the malice of men, true religion might 
be corrupted or be totally loft. In the primitive 
ages, indeed, it was not fo neceflary that the word 
of God mould be committed to writing, on ac- 
count of the longevity of the Patriarchs, frequency 
of revelations, and other reafons. But in fubfe- 
quent times, it was indifpenfibly neceffary that it 
mould be fo y in order that it might be preferved 
unfullied, and, as it were, in a pure fountain, and the 
Church faved from error. Therefore, we read, 
that it was the divine pleafure and command, that 
revelations, laws, memorable events, &c. mould 
be configned to writing. 

II. Now, we are to enquire, whether we have 

the word of God entire, and this is what we deno- 

F 2 minate 

6o Sec?. I. Chap. II. 

minate the Integrity of Scripture, which is two- 
fold. Firft. Of the Canon. Second. Of every 
particular book. Firft. We aflert, the integrity 
of the Canon, or, that we have at prefent, all thole 
books which were admitted formerly, cither by 
the Jews or primitive Christians. This is diffid- 
ently evident, with refpe£t to the books of the Old 
Teftament. The Jews were at the greateft ima- 
ginable pains in preferring thofe books-, and it ap- 
pears, from their own teftimony, that they ac- 
counted the very fame books as divine, which at 
prefent conftitute the Old Teftament : This is 
proved from that pafTage, Luke xxiv. 44. where 
our Saviour, according to the Jewifh cuftom, di- 
vides the Sacred Writings into three clafTes, and 
thus informs us, that thofe books do conftitute the 
whole body, or canon of Sacred Scripture. Like* 
wife, as to the books of the New Teftament, the 
matter is clear, from the Synod of Laodicea, as 
likewife from th.Q catalogues of books which the 
ancient Chriftians received as divine* which were 
compiled by Hyeronymus, and others. But we 
have thofe very books at prefent, fo that not one 
of them has been loft, which were received by the 
ancient Church. There is no reafon, therefore, 
why any one fhould objecT, that fome writings 
have been loft, which are mentioned in Sacred 
Scripture, as the book of the Words of the Lord. 
INum. xxi. 14. The book of J eihe. Jofh. x. 13. 
1 he books of Nathan and Gad. 1 Chro. xxix. 29. 
Likewife, the Third Epiftle to the Corinthians. 
•2 Cor. xiii. 1. The Epiftle to the Laodiceans. 
Col. iv. 16. For befides, that it cannot be made 


Upon the Attributes of S. S. 6; 

appear' that thefe are different books, from what 
are extant under different titles •, it is not at all re- 
quisite to the integrity of the canon of Scripture, 
that we fhould have all the writings of holy men, 
and all hiftories which are quoted in our Bibles. 
This is invincibly proved, from this coniideraticn, 
that the ancient Jews and Chriftians had not thefe 
books in the Canon, and yet they never entertain- 
ed the leaft doubt, of their having the entire canon 
of Sacred Scripture. 

2. With refpect to the particular books, we 
maintain their integrity. For it is certain that 
they were handed down to us, pure and genuine. 
It is true, indeed, that fome faults and errors have 
crept in, either through the mifapprehenfion, r.e~ 
gligence, or ignorance of tranferibers. And in- 
deed it is impomble, that the eafe mould be 
otherwife, unlefs all thefe tranferibers had been 
divinely infpired. Hence fome variation and dif- 
ference, is to be found in fome books and copies, 
which is the cafe with all writings, and yet their 
truth and genuinenefs, are frill acknowledged : 
But this does not detract, from the integrity of 
the Sacred Books : For the various readings ar© 
but few in number* and of little moment, all of 
them almofl confuting about accents, diftinctions, 
commas, particles, and words,, which do not 
change the fm(e. Or if any occur which are cf 
greater moment, it is mofl commonly eafy to 
find out where the error lies, and what is the ge- 
nuine reading. Befides all thefe books agree, in 
things which pertain to the eflence of doctrine, in 
F 3 articles 

6z Sek* I. Chap, II. 

articles of faith, precepts, and hiftories : But an' 
invincible argument, in fupport of this integrity, is 
deduced from various pafiages of Scripture, to be 
met with in the writings of the ancients, as alfo from 
it's various verfions, into different languages, which 
verfions indeed, do agree almoft in all things, with 
our modern books. 

III. The third attribute of Sacred Scripture, is 
it's verity, or truth, which is proved principally by 
two arguments, the one taken from the characters 
of it's authors, the other from it's contents. 

I . As to the firft argument, we fuppofe that 
thefe books, have the fame perfons for their au- 
thors, whofe names they bear, and that they were 
written at the particular times, in which they are 
commonly believed to have been written. Both 
of which are proved, by conftant univerfal tradi- 
tion, as alfo from the teitimony of ancient pro* 
phane authors. It can no other way be proved, 
that the books which are afcribed to Cicero or Vir- 
gil, were written by them, yet this was never 
controverted. This being laid down, we have to 
fee, whether the authors of thefe facred writings 
have written truth. But this is proved, becaufe it 
was in their power to do fo^ as it is granted, that 
they lived in the very places, and times in which 
the things which we relate, happened. Again, they 
had a willingnefs to write the truth, as being men of 
integrity, who merited credit, if ever any fuch were 
to be found ♦, this is evident, fince nothing could 
ever be pioduced> to make their ttftimony deferv- 


Upon the Attributes of S. S. .63 

edly fufpedted. For they could obtain no emolu- 
ment by lying •, nay, had they a greater regard to 
peribnal utility than the truth, they- never Would 
have publifhed a doctrine, which brought upon 
them the odium of the world, Laftly, they would 
have obtained no credit with men» had they not: 
told truth, fmce their doctrine was of fuch-a na- 
ture, that inftead of alluring tended rather to deter 
all men from embracing it. In a word, no wit- 
nefles will ever merit credit, if it be denied to the 
teftimony of the Apoftles and Prophets, 

2. To come to the latter argument /, the matter 
contained in Scripture, coiififts of hiftory and doc- 
trine. The truth of its hiftories, is invincibly de- 
monstrated, from the teftimony of prophane hifto- 
rians, who relate the principal events recorded in 
facred hiftory, fo that credit can be given to no 
hiftory, if the truth of iacred hiftory be called in 
queftion : Thefe teftimonies are collected by * Gro- 
tus, in his excellent book, upon the truth of the 
Chriftian Religion, and others. 

But the truth of it's doctrines, which confift in 
articles of faith, precepts, promifes and threatnings, 
is proved by the light of nature, right reafon, and 
the power of confcience, as will appear to any atten- 
tive perfon at the firft fight. 

IV. But it is not fufficient, to believe that the 
Scripture is true, unlefs we likewife believe it to 


J Grot. B. I. Chap. XIV. and every where in thz third. 

Sec!. I. Chap. II. 

De divine, that is, infpired of God. 2 Tim. iih 
1 6. In order to a right underftanding of this, we 
are to confider wherein that inspiration confifts, and 
how it may be proved. 

I. This infpiration may be thus conceived. 
Sometimes God fo affected the facred authors, that 
he infpired into them the knowledge of the things 
themfelves, and words* viz. when they difcover^ 
ed> . or wrote, things which before had been hid 
from them, as in prophecies. But when they dif- 
courfed of matters which they had known before, 
or configned them to writing, in that cafe, the/ 
flood in no need pf fuch infpiration, as would re» 
veal to them every particular thing. Thus, the 
Apoflles flood in no need of infpiration, when 
they wrote the hiftory of the Lord Jefus, as then 
they wrote only fuch things, as they had been 
eye and ear witnefs to. i John i. i. Yet the Spi- 
rit of God, fo directed and influenced them, that 
nothing proceeded from them, but what was true. 
But at the fame time, each of them fpoke and 
wrote according to his natural genius and man- 
ner, as we find from the diverfity of ftyle and 
fpeech, ufed in the writings of the Apoflles and 

2. The principal arguments in fupport of the 
divinity of Scripture, are as follow. The very truth 
of the Scripture proves it's divinity. For if what- 
ever it contains he true, \t is divine, becaufe it 
teftifies of itfelf, that it is divine. Second. It 
may be proved from the internal characters of di- 

Upon the Attributes of S. S. 6$ 

vinity, which arc obvious in the doctrine contained 
in the Sacred Books, efpecially it's confummate 
perfection, and fingular efficacy, which could not 
proceed from men. 

3. From the miracles of the Prcnhets, the I i 
Jeius and his Apcfues, which they wrought in 
confirmation of their dofbrine. But the truth of 
thefe miracles is. proved, not only from what we 
have faid, when the truth of Scrip- 
ture, but likewife from the confeffion of our ad- 
verfaries. The Jews, the mofl inve&ive adverfa- 
ries to the Chriftian Religion, could not deny that 
Chrift wrought miracles, they only urged their 
not being wrought by a divine power. Likewife 
from the testimony of foreign hif*orians, who re- 
late fome of the miracles recorded in Scripture. 
Thus, Menande relates the miracle which is men- 
tioned, 1 Kings xvii. of the drought which Jail- 
ed during the fpace of three years. The fourth 
argument, which is invincible, is drawn from pro- 
phecies. Here we fuppofe, that thefe prophecies, 
were delivered before their events, than which, 
nothing is more certain. Who would doubt of 
Mofes living in very remote times, or that the 
Prophecies of the Old 'i^ibment, which were 
written many ages before the comittg ~ f Chrift, 
weYe known by the jews. 2. We fupp; ' iJuflt 
thefe prophecies exactly correfpond with tneir 
events, which will be fumciently proved, by a 
comparifon of the prophecies themfelves, with the 
events : Thefe things being laid down, we con- 
dude that God was their author, fince no nan 


66 Sect. I. Chap. II. 

could ever forefee, or predict future events, con- 
fequentlv their authors mud have been infpired of 

To thefe arguments, advanced in fupport of 
the divinity of Scripture, fome add the teftimony 
of the Holy Spirit, -which indeed may be taken in 
a twofold fenfe. Firft, As the Holy Spirit himfelf 
teftifies, and fpeaks in Scripture ♦, in which {Qn(t y 
this does not differ much from the arguments 
taken from thofe characters of divinity, which we 
have already mentioned. Second, As it denotes 
the operation of the Holy Spirit, which acts upon 
man, and difpofes him to acknowledge, and yield 
his aiTent to thefe characters. Which operation is 
indeed neceffar-y ; yet many are of opinion, ' that 
accurately fpeaking, it cannot be adduced as an 
argument, in fupport of the divinity of Scripture. 
See Annot. of Trochin. upon Wendelinus. Pref 
C. 3. Th. 4. 

V. The fifth attribute of Scripture, is it's au- 
thority. Now if the Scripture be divine, it muft 
be of the higheft authority, both as to faith and 
manners. Concerning this authority, after what 
has been already obferved, it would be unnecefla- 
ry to treat profefTedly, were it not that we have 
to combat here with the teachers of the Roman 
Church. For when they fee that their errors, and 
tenets cannot be defended, but on the contrary 
are defeated by Scripture, not daring to deny it's 
authority, totally, they diminifti it as much as 
poflible, left they mould be obliged to acknow- 

Upon the Attributes of S. S. 6y 

ledge that the Church errs, and that they might 
maintain the authority of their own Church. 
This has been the fburce of almoft all the contro- 
verfies, which have happened between them and 
us, viz. concerning the authority of Scripture, 
it's perfection, and perfpicuity, alfo the Church it- 
felf, &c. 

They acknowledge, indeed, that the Scripture 
of itfelf, is of divine authority, but that it's au- 
thority, as to us, depends upon the teftimony of 
the Church. But if the Scripture be of the high- 
er!: authority of itfelf, it mull be of the higheft 
as to us, fo that this diftinction is frivolous. They 
indeed objecl, that we without the teftimony of 
the Church could not know that the Scripture is 
divine, and that it is handed down, and made 
known to us by the Church. But the anfwer to 
this is plain •, for we do not deny that the divine 
origin of Scripture is made known to us by the 
Church, or by human teftimony, as for inftance, 
when it is queftioned, whether the Sacred Books, 
have for their authors, the very fame perfons, 
whofe names are affixed to them, whether they 
were written at the particular times, in which 
we maintain their being written, and whether 
they have long fince, and always been efteemed 
as canonical. In thefe, and queftions of the like 
nature, which properly belong to hiftory, we 
muft have recourie to tradition, or the teftimony 
of men. But this teftimony confers no power or 
authority upon the Church. The Church teftifies 
after the fame manner, as the univerfal confent, 


69 &0. I- Chap, IT. 

and conftant tradition of the ancients teftify, that, 
the works of Cicero, were wrote by Cicero him- 
felf : Or that the laws which are to be found in 
their code of inftitutions, were compiled by Jufti* 
nian, and other emperors, yet it does not follow, 
that thefe laws derive their authority from fuch 
teitimony. Again, it is erroneoufly afTerted, that 
we by no other means can be allured of the truth, 
and divinity of the Scripture, but by the tertima- 
ny of the Church ; as without that teftimony, it's 
truth and divinity may be demonftrated, from the 
characters of both being {lamped upon it, as alfo 
from the very nature of its doctrine, precepts, 
promifes, and ihreatnings. But the opinion of 
the Romans is refuted, as it would be abfurd to 
prove the divinity and authority of Scripture, 
from the Church. For here they move in a mani- 
fest abfurd circle. They found the authority of 
the Scripture, upon the authority of the Church, 
but if any one mould afk them how they prove 
the authority of the Church, they endeavour to 
prove it from Scripture \ but how mail the 
Church's authority be proved from Scripture, the 
authority of Scripture not being previoufly efta- 
blifhed. Befides fuch is the nature of faith, thac 
it depends on divine and not on human teftimony. 
Therefore we conclude, that the Sacred Scripture 
is of divine authority, and that it is the only rule 
pf faith and manners, in which we ought entirely to 

VI. We are now to confider it's perfection. 
When we call the Scripture perfect, our meaning 


Upon the Attributes of S. S. 60 

is, that It contains, in a perfect manner, all things 
neceilary, either to be believed or practifed, in 
order that we might obtain falvation. Here two 
things are obfervable. Firft. That this perfection 
13 attributed to Scripture, only with refpect to 
things neceflary to falvation. The Romans there- 
fore object to no purpofe, that there are fome ar-» 
tides of faith, which are not contained in Scrip- 
ture, fuch as the perpetual virginity of the Blefied 
Virgin, and others of the like nature. For thefe 
do not affect the e fence, of faith, nor are they ne- 
ceflary to folvation. Second. We may obferve 
that thefe neceffaries are contained in Scripture, 
under a double form, either exprefsly, and in Co 
many words, or by neceflary and evident confe- 
quence. Thus, from Scripture afferting, that 
Chrift was a man like to us in all things, we juft- 
ly conclude, that he had the members of a human 
body. This doctrine concerning confequences, is 
manifestly and invincibly confirmed from that paf- 
fage, Matt. xxii. 31. 32. Where the Lord Je- 
fus proves the refur recti on, from thefe words of 
Scripture, I am the God of Abraham, and of Ilaac, 
and of Jacob. Which words do not exprefsly treat 
of the refurrectron, yet they prove it by evident and 
neceffary confequence. 

2. We prove the funiciency and perfection of 
Scripture, in the CtnCo. we have already mentioned. 
Firit. From very many paffages in Scripture* 
Deut. iv\ 2. Ye mall neither add nor diminifh, &c, 
Pf. xix. 8. The law of the Lord is perfect. 2. Tim. 
iii. 1 6. All Scripture is given by inspiration of 


7o Seff. I. Caap. IL 

God. Which text is of great force. Second. From 
the fcope of Scripture. Now, the fcope, or defign 
of it, was, through faith, to lead us unto life eter- 
nal. John v. 39. Rom. xv. 4. 2 Tim. iii. 15. 
But if the Scripture be not perfect, God mull be 
fruftrated in his defign, mice without this perfection, 
it will not be fufficient to falvation. 

3. Because no article of faith neceflary to fal- 
\*ation, can be produced, which is not to be found in 

Here the Romifli Clergy enter into a contro- 
verfy with us, as likewife do the Enthufiafts. The 
former, in order to defend their traditions, which 
they prefcribe as neceffary, though there be the 
deepeft filence concerning them in the word of 
God, do argue the imperfection of Scripture -> and 
explain their opinion in the following manner. 
They acknowledge, indeed, the perfection of the 
word of God, but afTert, that it is twofold, viz. 
written, and unwritten, or tradition ; and tell us, 
that the Apofiles fpoke many things which were 
not configned to writing, but handed down by 
tradition. Thefe traditions we do not totally re- 
ject, nor do we deny that tradition ought fre- 
quently to be confulted. Thus, in queftions which 
relate to the difcipline and order of the Church, 
external worfhip, rites, things facred, &c. much 
regard mould be paid to the inftitutions, and 
cuitoms of the Univerfal Church. Which we have 
reafon to believe, proceeded from the Apoftks, or 
Apoftolick men. But that any articles of faith, 


Upon the Attributes of S. S. 71 

neceflary to falvation, or precepts, riot mentioned 
in Scripture, Ihould be founded on tradition, is 
what we deny. 

Now, the opinion of the Romifh Church may 
be confuted. Firft, From what has been already 
offered, concerning the perfection of fcripture ; 
for if tradition be of equal value with the written 
word, or even annexed to it, the perfection and 
fufTkiency of the Sacred Scripture muft be given 
up. Second, Becaufe tradition is often obfcure, 
ambiguous and uncertain. Third, Becauie, un- 
der the pretence of tradition, a door will be opened 
for error and fuperftition, as evidently appears* 
from experience. The texts of fcripture, ufa'ally 
quoted in fupport of tradition, fcarcely merit a 
particular anfwer. As, 1 Cor. xi. 2. Now I praife 
you brethren, that ye keep my traditions, as I de- 
livered them unto you. 2 Theft, ii. 15. There- 
fore, brethren, ftand fall by the traditions, which 
ye have been taught, whether by word, or our 
epiftle. Alfo, John xvi. 12. xxi. 25. With re- 
fpect to which, it may be fufHcient to obferve in 
general, that thefe pafTages do not refer to any 
neceflary articles of doctrine, which had - not elfe- 
where been delivered, and configned to writing. 

Enthusiasts and Libertines fpeak in a very 
fcornful drain, concerning the facred fcripture, 
as they do of every thing elfe of an external na- 
ture. There are fome to be found among them, 
.who maintain, that only the firrt principles of re- 
ligion are contained in fcripture i that it is a dead 
I . letter, 

yt Sect. I. Chap. II. 

letter, and that there is no need of the written 
word, or of preaching, if they have the internal 
word, i. e. the mfpiration of the Holy Spirit. 
Which opinion is reproachful to the Sacred Scrip- 
ture, and confequently to God himfelf, and is in- 
coiihftent with what we read, concerning it's ex- 
tenfive utility, abfolute necefTity, and it's admira^ 
ble and divine energy. Second, It is abfurd, and 
contrary to right reaibn, and the nature of man, 
who, being endowed with reafon, is not impelled 
by internal infpirations, but by inftruction and 
motives. Third. It is in the higheft degree dan- 
gerous, fince by it, a wide open is made for the 
introduction of infignificant fopperies, nay, even of 
vice itfelf, as appears from the hiftory of the Ana- 
baptifts, and Enthufiafts ; the order of the Church 
is fub verted, and confufion introduced. For where 
there is no rule, nor ftandard, by which the 
doctrines, or tents of men were to be examined, 
in that cafe, no method would remain, by which 
raving Enthufiafts, or abandoned perfons, might be 
confuted. Every one will readily tell us, that this, 
or the other thing proceeded from the infpiration of 
God, which might be eafily proved by innumerable 

VII. What now remains, is the perfpicuity of 
Scripture, concerning which, let us fee. Fir ft. 
W herein this perfpicuity confifts. Second. By 
what arguments it may be confirmed. 

i. WEafTert, that the Scripture is perfpicuous, 
in this fenfe, viz. that in it the doctrine of falva- 


Upon the Attributes of S. S. 73 

tion is Co perfpicuoufly and clearly revealed, that 
it may be understood in things neceflary to falva- 
tion, nay, in many other things of utility, by any 
perfon who enjoys the ufe of his underftandiiig, 
gives attention, and fearches after the truth with 
imcerity. We afcribe this perfpicuity to Scrip- 
ture, Firft. With refpeijr to things neceflary to fal- 
vation. We do not deny, that many things obfeure 
are contained in Scripture •, but either thefe are not 
necefTarv to falvation, thus, we might be igno» 
rant of the meaning of that portion of Scrip. 1 
Cor. xv. 29. concerning the baptifm for the dead, 
without any hazard of falvation. Or, if neceflary, 
they are explained more clearly elfewhere. Thus, 
the words of (Thrift, John vii. 53. Except ye eat 
the fefh of the Son of Man, &c. at firft fight ap- 
pear to be obfeure, and have afforded matter of 
controverfy in the Church. But elfewhere, even 
* in this very chapter, Chrift himfelf exprefTeth his 
meaning, in terms no way ambiguous. Second. 
We fuppofe, that fuch as read the Scripture, do 
yield attention, are fincere in their refearches after 
truth, and make a proper ufe of fuch means as are 
neceflary, in order to the obtaining it. For if 
thefe be wanting, no writing, though ever fo per- 
fpicuous, could be rightly underftood. 

Besides, it is to be obferveci, that the Scrip- 
ture is perfpicuous, both with refpecl to it's mat- 
ter, and the method, according to whicn, the va- 
rious fubjeels are treated. The fubjecls are clear 
and Ample (we always fpeak of fuch as are necef- 
laiy to falvation) confuting of hiftory, doclrine, 
G precepts, 

74 Sect. I. Chap. II, 

precepts, and promifes *, for thefe, as foon as heard* 
or read, are underftood, as far as the understand- 
ing of them is neeeflary to falvation. As to me- 
thod and ftyle, it is fimple, perfpicuous, and ac- 
commodated to the capacity of the vulgar, in fuch 
points as affect the e (fence of religion, as has been 
juft now obferved ; this is evident to every one 
who reads the Scripture. 

2. This perfpicuity of Scripture Is evinced by 
the following arguments. Firft, By Scripture it- 
felf, Deut. xxx. ii. For this commandment, 
which I command thee this day, is not hidden 
from thee, it is not far off. Pfal. xix. 8, 9. The 
law of the Lord is perfect, &c. And, cxix. 105. 
Thy word Is a light unto my feet, and a lamp 
unto my paths. Second, From the fcope and in- 
tention of God, which was the manifestation of his 
will, and the way of falvation to us. John xx. 31. 
and elfewhere. But in order to this, perfpicuity 
in the word of God is neceffary. Now, if his 
word be not perfpicuous, we muft either fay, that 
he could not fpeak perfpicuoufly, or otherwife, 
that he would not -, neither of which could be fpo- 
ken without blafphemy. Third, It might be 
proved, by taking a particular view of the feveral 
articles of faith, which are rreceffary to falvation, 
as no article can be produced, which is not fully 
elue'dated in Scripture. Fourth, We are obliged, 
under pain of damnation, to believe, and do the 
v ill of God •, ib that it muft be in our power to 
nnderftand the true meaning of Scripture, fince a 
law, which is not promulged, or involved in ob- 


Upon thi Attributes of S. S. J 5 

fcurity is not obligatory. Hence we conclude, that 
the Scripture is perfpicuous. 

These things are fo plain, as to make it un~ 
neceiTary to dwell longer upon refuting the doctrine 
of our adversaries. They id vain object that pafTage 
in 2 Pet. iii. 16. where it is faid, that fome things 
hard to be understood, are to be found in the Epif- 
tles of Paul, cVc. We do not deny that there 
are paMages in the writings of Paul, as likewife 
in thofe of the other facred writers, which are dif- 
ficult and obfcure •, but thefe places, if they do not 
treat of things necefTary, do not affect this contra* 
verfy -, but if in them doctrines necefTary to falva- 
tion are delivered, they are exprefTed in a manner 
very intelligible elfewhere. Befides, Peter docs 
not tell us here, that thofe things which were writ- 
ten by Paul, were hard to be underftood in them- 
felves, by all, but only by fuch as are unlearned, 
unteachable, contumacious, and unliable, who did 
not rightly expound them, but perverted and de- 
praved them to their own deftruction. To perform 
of fuch difpontions, nothing will ever be lufEcientl/ 

Now, if the fcripture be not perfpicuous, how 
{hall the universal body of Christians be inftructed 
in the knowledge of the doctrine of falvation. If 
the Papifts tell us, from the definitions and inter- 
pretations of the Church, truly this would be 
vaftly more difficult, obfcure, and the knowledge 
of them attended with more labour and pains. 
For, how fhall it appear to piebeans, and the mc 
G 2 Hike- 

-6 Seel. I. Chap. III. 

illiterate part of mankind, what is the fenfe of the 
Church . Truly there is much obfcurity in the 
writings of the Fathers, Councils and Traditions, fo 
that they can neither be read, nor underftood, with- 
out great and daily labour, whereas, sne or two 
joailages in fcripture, one dictate or Chrift, is fuf- 
neient to eilablifh any doctrine. 

Chap. III. 

Of the Ufe of Sacred Scripture. 


FIE ufe of Scripture is twofold, viz. it's read- 
ing, and interpretation. 

Our Church maintains, that the reading of 
Scripture is not only lawfal, but neceflary in op- 
polltion to the Romans, who, eipecially in the time 
of the reformation, denied the reading of ft to the 
common people, At prefent, indeed, there are 
many in the Roman Church, efpecially in France, 
who are afnamed to defend this infamous doctrine, 
but in the moll cf places, the vulgar are laid under 
this prohibition, unlefs with certain reftrictions and 
cautions, hence the degrees cf Pcpe, Alexander 
VII. in his inventory of prohibited books at the 
beginning R, IV. 

Now, that all have a right to perufe the Scrip- 
ture, we prove, Firft. From Scripture, Deut. vL 
6. 7 And thefe words which I command thee this 
day, mail be in thine heart, and thou fhalt dili- 
gently teach them unto thy children, &c. John v. 

39. Search 

JJnon iheUfe of S. S. 77 

^9. Search the Scripture, &c. Acts viii. 2S. and 
xvii. 1 1. &c. Second. From the practice and cuftom 
of the ancient Church, whether Jewifli or Chriflian. 
Acts xv. zi. Neh. viii. 2. 3. Becaufe, without rend- 
ing the Scripture, we could not obtain the end for 
which it was given, this end is plainly pointed out 
to us. John xx. 31. Thefe things are written, 
that ye might believe, that Jefus is the Son of 
God, and that believing, ye might have life in his 
name. 2 Tim. iii. 15. 4. if the Scripture was not 
read by the vulgar, they could not underftand, 
whether the doctrines which they heard from their 
teachers were true. For they muft either repofe 
in them a blind implicit faith, -or otherwife, they 
muft be infallible, fo that they might be duly cre- 
dited : Both of which being abfurd, it follows, that 
their doctrine muft be examined according to the 
word of God. Acts xvii. 11. where we read, tfiat 
the doctrine of the Apoftles themfelves, was tried by 
this rule. 

2. But, in order that the fcripture might be 
read, it is neceflary that it mould be tranilated 
into the language of every particular country, 
which practice we find prevailed in the Primitive 
Church ; hence the production of fo many various 
verfions, Greek, Latin, Syriack, Arabick, Gothick, 

Of the ancient verfions, the Septuagent, and 

the vulgate Latin verfion, are the principal. The 

Septuagent, is the translation of the books of the 

Old Teftament into the Greek tongue, about 280 

G 3 years 

78 Seft. I. Chap. III. 

years before Chrift, which was completed at the 
requeft of Ptolemeus Adelphns, King of Egypt, 
or as others would have it, Lagus. The Church 
or Rome are of opinion, that this verfion was ac- 
complifhed by divine infpiration, which was alfo 
maintained by fome men of learning, particularly 
Ifaac, Voflius, who is editor of a treatife, upon the 
authority of this tranflation, However, this opin- 
ion is oppoied by various arguments. Yet it is 
certain, it was valued highly by the ancient 
Church, and it is of fignal ufe in explaining the Sa^ 
cred Scripture, as light may be derived from it, 
upon various paffages. The Latin, commonly 
termed the vulgate tranflation, was compiled out 
of an ancient vulgate veriion, and a tranflation of 
Hieronymous. The Council of Trent hath declar- 
ed this to be authentic, but, erroneouily, as it has 
been corrected, and amended in innumerable pla- 
ces, by Pope Sextus V. Befides, it mav be ob- 
ierved that this tranflation differs in many places 
from the Septuagent, fo that the one of them 
jnuft be erroneous. Yet the reading of this vulgate 
tranflation, may be of ufe. We mail fay nothing of 
the other tranflations offcripture. 

But what ought principally to be attended to 
here, is, that none of thole tranflations, ought to be 
put in balance with the original text, as none of 
them can be laid, to be abfolutely perfect in every 

" For which reafon, fuch as are deflrous of 
*' knowing the true fenfe of fcripture a ought to 

" read 

Upon the Ufe of S. S. 79 

** read it in it's fountain, and original languages : 

" The knowledge of which is particularly neceflary, 

" for fuch as expound the word of God, or teach 

" it to others/' 

II. Interpretation mould always accompa- 
ny the reading of fcripture. For it ought to be 
read, in order that the true fenfe, or meaning of it 
might appear, But, in order to difcover this, 
there are requiflte, Firft. An accurate knowledge 
of the languages and hiftory, efpecially, in fuch 
as difcharge the office of teachers in the church. 
Second. Clofe attention to the fcope of the facred 
authors, as alio, to what goes before, and follows 
after. Third. A companion with other portions 
of fcripture. The beft expofition of fcripture, is 
by fcripture, and the Holy Spirit is the bed inter- 
preted of kfelf. Fourth. An attentive mind, free 
From prejudices, " For, we ought not to read 
" the fcripture, in order to receive a confirma- 
u tion from it, of fuch doctrines as we have al- 
" ready embraced, but rather from a view of 
" learning what we ought to believe." Fifth. 
A pious and humble mind, which defireth to know 
the will of God only, acquiefceth in it when 
known, and is willing to obey it, both in faith and 

Besides, Divines diftinguifh the fenfe of fcrip- 
ture, into literal and myftical. The former is the 
real fenfe, that viz. which the very words of fcrip- 
ture, whether taken properly or figuratively, and 
the fcope and feries of the difcourfe, do indicate. 


So 5tZI. I. Chap. III. 

But the myflical fenfe, is that which is latent 
under the former, and is ufually diilmguifhed, 
firft. Into allegorical, an example of which v/e 
have in Gal. iv. 24, where what is related of 
Abraham's two wives, is referred to the two cove- 
nants. Second. Tropological, by which certain 
pafiages of fcripture, though they do not directly 
ipeak of manners, or duties, yet refer unto them, 
as 1 Cor. ix. 9. Thou malt not muzzle the mouth 
of the ox, that treadeth out the corn, and Third. 
Anagogical, when things that are terreftrial, are 
applied to things fpiritual and celefrial, as Pfal. xcv. 
1 1 . To whom I have fworn in my wrath, that they 
fhould not enter into my reft. Which is quoted by 
taul, Heb. iii. and iv. 

Here two things ought to be obferved. Firft. 
That the myflical fenfe may indeed illuftrate the 
oration, but cannot be adduced as an argument, 
which carries along with it the force of a proof -, 
hence that trite axiom. Symbolical Theology, is 
not argumentative. Second. This myflical fenfe, 
is by no means to be fearched for in every portion 
of Scripture, nor ought it to be devifed arbitrarily, 
- or as every one's fancy may direct, efpecially, 
when arguments are drawn frcm it to eftablifh any 
doctrine-, which, yet has been the practice of feme 
teachers, and interpreters of Scripture, in the pre- 
ceding age, who departed from the fimple method 
of the;r anceitors, to the fignal detriment of the 
Chriftian doctrine, and religion. Moreover, the 
myflical ftnfe cught not to be confounded with 


Upon the Ufe of S. S. Si 

the prophetical, which is the true and genuine 

There are indeed fome prophecies, which ad- 
mit of a twofold fence, the one literal, or typical, 
the other prophetical. As for inftance, there are 
prophecies in the Pfalms, which in a certain {qi\{q 
may be underftood of David, but where properly 
and completely fulfilled in Chrift, as Pf. ii. and 
ex. But this latter fenfe, is die proper and the real 
foife of thefe prophecies, which can by no means be 
faid of the myftical we have juft now mentioned. 
But there are other prophecies, which admit only one 
(tnfe^ fuch are many predictions of the Prophets, 
which have a refpect unto Chrift only, as Ifa. liii. 
Hag. ii. 9. Malach. iii. 1. 

A question is here moved, in whom is lodged 
the right of interpreting Scripture, or who is the 
chief judge of controverfies, refpecting the kn(c and 
doctrine of Scripture ? 

To this we anfwer, That the right of interpret- 
ing Scripture, belongs to every one who has a 
right to read it, i. e. every one of the faithful : But 
that there is no infallible judge, conftituted of 
God, in the Church, who is vetted with the right 
of judging, and prefcribing what we are to be- 

The former is evident of itfelf; for in things 
which appertain to faith, confeience, and falvati- 
on, every one muft live by his own faith, and not 


82 SeS. I. Chap. III. 

another's. Faith is not produced by any infolent 
authority, but by perfuafion and arguments. And 
therefore, the right of judging concerning the 
fenfe of Scripture, and religious controversies be- 
longs to every one of the faithful. But this pri- 
vate judgment is not at all authoritative, fo as to 
bind others, it is only of difcretion, and perfonal 
edification. As to an infallible judge of contro- 
versies, the difpute lies between us, and the 
Church of Rome. The teachers of this Church 
affirm, that fuch a judge is to be found, but who he 
is, whether the Pope alone, or Univerfal Council, 
or Pope and Council combined, they have not as 
yet defined ; neither are they agreed among them- 
selves, as to this point ; be this as it will, the fol- 
lowing arguments overthrow this opinion. 

1. If fuch a judge were granted, it was necef- 
fery that he fhould have been openly conflituted, 
and appointed of God -, for the firft thing requifite 
in a judge, is, that it mould be notified to all that 
he is judge. Now, there is no mention made of 
any fuch judge, in Scripture. That pafiage in 
Deut. xvii. 8. does not relate to controversies, 
concerning faith, but litigations about matters of 
a civil and criminal nature, and ceremonies, nor 
has it any refpect at all to the Chriftian Church : 
But the pafiage in i Tim. iii. 15. makes nothing 
at all for the purpofe. 

2. The Scripture teacheth the contrary. It 
commands. Firft. That we fhould beware of 
fal fc teachers. Matt. vii. 15. Believe not every 


Upon the life of S, S. $ 3 

ipirit, i. e. every doctrine, or teacher, i John, iv. 
3. But if any one mould enquire how could it be 
made appear to us, what teachers ought to be 
heard, or what doctrine mould be embraced. 
Then, Second. The Scripture commands, that 
every perfon mould examine and judge : There 
are exprefs palTages in Scripture to this purpofe. 
1 John, iv. 5. Try the Spirits, i. e. the teachers, 
whether they be of God. 1 Thef. v. 21. Prove 
all things, and hold fail that which is good. 1 
Cor. x. 51. I fpeak as unto wife men, judge ye 
what I fay. Acts, xvii. 11. Now, if there were 
any fupreme judge, in whofe determination we 
ought to acquiefce, fuch a private examination as 
this, would be unprofitable, iuperfluous, and pre- 

Hepe, the advocates for the contrary opinion 
object, with great effrontary. Who, therefore, 
mail be found to compote, or determine contro- 
versies, or put a (lop to the progrefs of hereiies ? 
Or what mall be the end of difputes ? We an- 
fwer briefly, no perfon. But fay they, by thofe 
means, God hath not fufficiently provided for the 
truth, and fafety of his Church. We anfwer, that 
he has fufRciently provided for it, by his word. 
If they go on to urge, that even in this manner, 
herefies cannot be guarded againft : For the fenfe 
of God's Word, is often controverted, and many 
\vill not fubmit to arguments, or the truth. This 
indeed is true, but what if thefe erroneous, and 
pertenacious men, would not fubmit to the fen- 
tence of the fupreme judge ? There will certainly 


84 Se8. I. Chap. III. 

be errors, and offences among men, till the end of 
the world. Matt, xviii. 7. 1 Cor. xi. 19. But 
it is not in our power to prevent thefe things, and 
thofe who err, do err to themfelves, and by their own 
folly, having afterwards to give an account unto 
God, the only fupreme judge. 

Lastly, and what ought principally to be at- 
tained to, upon this argument, is, that it is not 
neceffary for the peace, and fafety of the Church, 
that men fhould be of the fame fentiments in every 
point, it is fufficient that they agree in fundamentals, 
and as to the reft, bear with each other ; this is the 
doctrine of Paul, Rom. xiv. And it is the way, and 
method which God himfelf has prefcribed, for pro- 
moting the peace of the Church, and which the 
Apoftles every where recommended -, but not that 
commanding authoritative way, which ufurps the 
fovereignty of God. 



Chap. I. 

Concerning the Exiftcnce of God. 

AS we are now to treat of the Supreme Being, 
we iriall firft prove his exiftance. Secondly, 
fhew wherein the divine eiTence conlifts. 

As the Being of God is the foundation of all re- 
ligioivit ought therefore, to be proved and con- 

Concerning God. S5 

firmed, by the moft folid arguments. Many, 
and almoft innumerable are the arguments which 
might be adduced, to prove his exiftence. For 
all "things difcernable, either in ourfelves or in the 
world, lead us as it were, by the hand unto God. 
The Deity who is the caufe of all things, hath 
rendered himfelf, confpicuous in all his works, (o 
that the ways and methods, by which his primary 
article of our faith might be eftablifhed, are innu- 
merable. Yet in iueh a multiplicity of argu- 
ments, and reafons, a certain choice mould take 
place. But a Divine ought to apply only fuch as 
are moft fimple, and moft accommodated, to the 
capacity of common people, laying afide fuch as 
are more fubtile and Philofophical, from which, 
though attended with fome force, and though 
they might be ufed by men of erudition, in pri- 
vate converfation, it were better to abftain, efpe- 
cially in fermons preached to the populace, or in 
writings, which are handled by all : For too much 
fubtility is the parent of obfcurity, doubtfulnefs, 
and fcrupulofily. Bcfides, this argument, might 
be handled very prudently, without mention be- 
ing frequently made of Atheifts, or fuch Deifts, as 
make a mock of religion, or totally deny it, left, 
perhaps the auditors, who never had heard of, or 
thought on the cavils and objections of Atheifts, 
might fall into fceptecifm, and extract poifon from 
the unfeafonable difputations cf preachers. 

To come now to the arguments which prove 
th^ exiftence of God. Let it be obferved in the 
firft place, that he could not reveal himfelf to us, 


26 Seff. II. Chap. I. 

any other way, than by his works and effects ; or, 
as the Scholafticks term it. God may be known 
a pofteriore, but not a priori, i. e. he may be 
known by his effects, but not of himfelf. For it 
being granted, that God is a fpirit fas we muft 
really fuppofe, otherwife, he could not be God) it 
follows, that we cannot fee him in himfelf, or in 
his efTence, therefore he could not reveal himfelf 
otherwife, than by his works or effects : And thofe 
of fuch a nature, fo fplended, fo admirable, and fo 
ftupendous, that they could be afcribed to none elfe, 
but a Being of infinite power, goodnefs, and all o- 
ther perfections. The cafe is the fame, with refpect 
to God, as the human foul ; no one doubts of it's 
exiftence, though it be not vifible : It is as clear 
from it's effects, that an intelligent principle exifts 
within us, entirely diftinct from the body, as it is 
evident, that we have a body. In the very fame 
manner, God renders himfelf confpicuous unto man- 
kind by his effects. 

The arguments in fupport of the exiftence of 
God* may be derived, either from nature and 
reafon, or from Scripture, and revelation -, for 
God hath revealed himfelf to us, by both thefe 

I. To begin with the firft clafs or arguments. 
The firft argument, and which is moft frequently 
ufed in Scripture, and is moft clear, is taken from 
the contemplation of the word, and the works of 
God ; which argument, indeed, comprehends a 
variety of others. We mail afterwards prove, 


Concerning God. 87 

that this world was created, when treating of the 
creation. Wejuftly obferve here, that there are 
two things in the world, which evince it's being 
the work of God. Firit.. The admirable and 
amazing order which is diicernable in all things, 
which could not proceed from any but a wife and 
orderly caufe. Second. We obferve, that all 
things, whether within or without us, were made 
for fome end •, but the creatures, being for the mod 
part deftitute of underftanding, do not of them- 
felves purfue this end. Therefore, they muft be 
directed to it by fome caufe, which can be none eife 
but the only intelligent one. I fay, only, for though 
each of the creatures were formed for various, 
fpecial, and fubordinate ends, yet all of them con- 
fpire, and combine together, to promote a general 

Thus, we fee that all terreftrial creatures, and 
fuch as furround and affect this earth, were made 
for the ufe of man. The Sun, the clouds, the 
rain, &c. fructify it ; forage is ufeful to beafts, 
and beafts to men. This contemplation of the 
world, and works of God, proves to all his ex- 
igence. Pf. xix. 1. 2. The Heavens declare the 
glory of God, &c. Rom, i. 20. For the invifible 
things of him, from the creation of the world, are 
clearly {cen, being underftood from the things 
that are made, even his eternal power and god- 
head, 6cc. &c. We omit here, what might be faid 
in confirmation of this argument, concerning the 
number, and variety of creatures which is almoft 


88 Sect. II. Chap. I. 

infinite, and the amazing workmanlhip which is dis- 
played in each of them, &c. 

II. The fecond argument, which fellows a 
priori, is of this kind : Either man was formed for 
fome end, and has fome Being over him, more 
excellent than himfelf, on whom he depends, or 
not. If the former be granted, the exigence of 
God is acknowledged ; if the latter be afferted 
then we muft fay, that man is the ultimate end of 
all things in this world, and that he is the mod 
excellent of all beings, and independent, which is 
quite abfurd. For who will allow, that all the 
creatures were made for fome end, but that man 
was made for none ? Who will believe that man 
is the mod: excellent of all beings, and independent ? 
I fay, man, who is obnoxious to fo many evils, nay, 
even death itfelf. 

III. The third argument is taken from the uni- 
verfal confent of mankind, at leaft, fuch as have 
not divefted themfelves of humanity. Which con- 
fent, muft either proceed from the evidence of the 
thing itfelf, and principles implanted in our nature, 
or from tradition, each of which fuppofes the being 
of a God. 

IV. The fourth argument is drawn from the 
natural light, and energy of confeience, as like- 
wife, thofe certain, and indeliable principles, with 
which every man is imbued, concerning the diffe- 
rence between virtue and vice, rewards and pu- 
nin>ments. We think it fafe to reaibn in this 


Concerning God. 89 

manner, becaufe the Scripture makes ufe of the 
fame argument. Rom. ii. 14. 15. For when the 
Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature 
the things contained in the law, thefe having net 
the law, are a law unto themfelves, which mew 
the work of the law, written in their hearts, their 
confcicnces alio bearing witnefs, and, &c. Aifo, 
from this, that upon thefe principles depend all 
laws, a! moil:, by which human iociety, and the 
rights of mankind are maintained. Neither is 
there any ground for prophane perfons objecting, 
that no (olid arguments can be deduced from the 
fear or fenk of confeience, becaufe, it frequently 
happens, that men perfuade themfelves into the 
belief of things which are falfe, and deftitute of 
any foundation, and thus are haunted with vain 
terrors. For thofe motions of confeience, which 
we here mention, this perfuafion of the exigence 
of God can no way be compared with thefe vain 
terrors, for thev are not to be found in all perfons, 
but only in a few, nor can any reafon be afTigned 
for them ; whereas, this energy of confeience, this 
idea of Deity, is common to ail men, and all 
times, and is founded upon the moil: valid argu- 
ments. Befides, it is impoiTible for any perfon to 
diveft himfeif of it, which plainly indicates, that 
this knfe is implanted in ail, and that it derives it's 
origin from the nature of man, in like manner as" 
the love of their children is implanted in the hearts 
of parents. 

II. Let 

JO Skt. II. Chap, I. 

II. Let us now proceed to the arguments taken 
from revelation, this being the method by which 
God hath manifefted himfelf more fujly. 

i. The exigence of God is proved, by what has 

been obferved, concerning the truth and divinity of 


2. ProHiecies do fo fully prove the being of \ 
God, that nothing can be retorted. For who could 
deny, that thefe prophecies were exhibited long be- 
fore their events,- or that they were exprefs and 
real prophecies. Or, laftly, that they could not 
proceed from any but an omnifcient, omnipotent 
Being. This argument, in it's kind, carries along 
with it a degree of evidence, eaual to mathematics 

3. God hath made himfelf known, not only by 
the works of creation, and the ordinary courfe of 
nature and providence, but likewife, by extraor- 
dinary operations, vifions, and revelations, which 
may be proved, not only from the teitimony of 
Scripture, but likewife from the hiftories and tefti- 
mony of various nations. But what principally 
merits our attention,, is, that God hath difco»- 
vered himfelf in a vifible and conspicuous man- 
ner, by Chrift, in whom he rendered himfelf vifi- 
ble •, fo that there ought not the lead doubtfulnefs, 
concerning the being of a God, to remain, after 
the coming of our Saviour; and it is marvelous, 
.that any one mould be found, who would not ac- 
knowledge it. IVIany argument- might be ad- 

Concerning God. 01 

vanced here, which might be taken from what we 
are to obferve afterwards, concerning Providence, 
Jefus the Meftla, and judgment to come. 

As to the queftion, whether there have been 
Atheifts ? Divines have given different anfwers ; 
but I think we ought not to anfwer pcfitivelv, 
either by affirming, or denying ; for this queftion 
turns upon matter of fact, to decide which, it is 
neceflary that we mould be thoroughly acquainted 
with the fentiments of all men, which no one can 
pretend to. This much we only affirm, that if 
ever there have been any fuch perfons as Atheifts, 
who did not believe that there is a God, they have 
been but few in number. Yet they are no lefs ac- 
counted Atheifts, in the judgment of God, who 
are void of all reverence towards him; and thefe 
are the Atheifts mentioned, Pf. xiv. and liii. Tit» 
i. 1 6, 

Fnoivf what has been advanced concerning the 
exiftence of God, appears, the true and real ufe 
of this doctrine, viz. That we mould take care, 
left this primary article of our faith, mould not 
be firmly enough believed, or left we mould reft 
fatisfied with meer contemplation. Faith in God 
is totally practical, and in vain do we know God, 
if we do not worfhip him as God. To this Su- 
preme being, therefore, are juftiy due, praife, 
thankfgiving, obedience, and the other duties of 

H 2 

92 Sect. II. Chap. II. 

Chap. II. 

Of the Attributes of God. 

A F T E R treating of the exigence of God, 
ji\ we proceed to his elTence. And firft, indeed, 
v/e have to enquire, wherein the Divine Nature, 
and EfFence confift. Again, fhew that it is in 
common, between the Father, Son, and Holy 

With refpecl: to the flrft of thefe, it ought, iri 
the firft place, to be received, as moil certain, 
that the Divine EfFence cannot be fully compre- 
hended by us, both as it is fpiritua], and as it is' 
Infinite : this is made plain to us, every where in 
Scripture, i Tim. vi. 16. God dwelleth in the 
light, which no man can approach unto,, whom 
no man hath feen, nor can fee, &c. It is fufficient 
for us to know him, as far as is neceiiary, in order 
that he might be the object of our love and vene- 
ration, and fo far hath he revealed hirrrfHF, viz. what 
fee is with refpect to us. This ought to be carefully 
attended to in Theology, and this we are taught by 
the various names which are afcribed to him in 
Scripture. For they reprefent the perfections of 
God, or his effence, only, as they relate to the crea- 
tures, especially man. 

The Divine Eflcnce is known by it's various at- 
n.'bute?) which attributes, though eifentially one, 


Upon the Attributes of God. oj 

yet ought not to be confounded. The principal 
ones are as follow. 

I Spirituality, or that God is a fpirit, this is 
the primary attribute of God, and the foundation 
of the reft, vrz. that God is a Spiritual Being, en- 
dowed with underftanding, will, and liberty. The 
very idea of God teacheth this, for he cannot be 
ptherwife conceived, but as a Living, Spiritual, and 
Intelligent Being., who acts of himfelf. Second, 
The Scripture confirms this, John iv. 24. God is 
a fpirit. And elfewhere. 

3. This may be further proved, as there are 
other fpirits in being, viz. human fouls, and an- 
gels. God, therefore, muft be a fpirit, otherwife 5 
he would be a being, of lefs perfection than men, 
and could not create fpirits. From this fpirituality 
of the Divine Nature, it follows, that he is invisi- 
ble. Exod. xxxiii. 20. Thou canft not fee mv 
face and live, for there fnall no man fee me, and 
live. 1 Tim. vi. 16. 

II. God exifts of himfelf, and is independent, 
becaufe no caufe can be afiigned, either of his ex* 
iftence, flnce he exifts of himfelf, and hath not de- 
rived his being from any other \ or of his eflence, 
which may be proved by the fame reafoning •, nor 
of his actions, fince he acts of himfelf, and is not 
moved, or determined to act by any one elfe. 

III. He 
H 3 

94 &&. II Chap, II. 

III. He Is eternal. He is called Eternal, btczv.-t 
he hath neither beginning nor end. This eternity 
is afcribed to God, Rom. xvi. 26. Rev. i. 8. I am 
Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. 
This is likewife denoted, when the Scripture faith 
that he is immortal, incorruptible, &c. 1 Tim. I, 
17. and vi. 6. But though eternity cannot be 
comprehended by us, and though we cannot have 
adequate conceptions of a duration, without either 
beginning or end, yet it is moil certain, that an 
Eternal Being muft exift, which is invincibly de- 
rnonftrated, by the following argument. If there 
were no Eternal Being, then all things muft have 
had a beginning, and there muft have been a 
time, when no beings exifted. Now, if there was 
ever fuch a time as this, it would be impofiibie 
for any being ever to exift, fince nothing could be 
produced out of nothing. Who could produce 
beings ? Or what could be the caufe of fo many 
beings exifting ? Therefore, moft certainly, an 
Eternal Being muft exift. But this being cannot be 
the world, or matter •, for it would be abfurd to 
afcrijje eternity to matter, a being deftitute of life 
and fenfe. Be/ides, that matter is not the firft, 
or Supreme Being) appears from this, viz. that 
there are fpjrits in the world. Neither could 
:s. derive their origin from matter. Nor, could 
that order or harmony, and various effects of wif- 
dcm and defign, which are difcernable in the 
world, be afcribed to matter. Lnftly, that this 
world is not eternal, may be evinced, from what 
we are afterwards to obfcrve concerning the crea- 

Upon the Attributes of God. 95 

tion, as alio, from Scripture, the truth of which, we 
have already fufrkiently proved. 

With refpect to the eternity of God. Divines 
enquire whether it be fuccefTive ? Which queftion 
being rather curious than ncceflary, we fhall not 
fpend much time upon it. Thofe who deny, that 
fucceflion mould be admitted in eternity, would 
have eternity to exift, or as they exprefs it, to 
exift with every part of time. But others aflert, 
that this cannot be plainly conceived, and that the 
idea of duration, cannot be feparated from eter- 
nity, fo that, according to them, eternity is a du- 
ration, without beginning or end. To what is usu- 
ally objected here, that granting this facceiTion 
of duration, we mud at length come to the furl 
moment, and confequently to the beginning of 
the Divine Existence \ they anrwer, that this does 
not at all follow, for always a prior moment mud: be 
acknowledged, but never a firft, as a nrft mo- 
ment, is inconfiftent with the idea of a being, 
without beginning or end. But thefe things are 
of little confequence ; only, we ought to take care, 
left if a fucceflive eternity be granted, we mould a:- 
cribe unto God, any fuch thing as change, or im- 

IV. The fourth attribute of God, is his Unify. 
That there is but one God, may be proved. Firft, 
Becaufe it is more agreeable to reafon, to fix upon 
one common principle, one common caufe of all 
things, than more. For the arguments which 
prove the exiftenceof God ; viz. fuch as are t 


$6 Sett. II. Cbafi IL 

from the fTructure of the woild, the order and 
harmony dilcernable in it, and the end for which 
all things were created, do all lead us to one only 
Supreme Cauie. Second, We can very well under- 
fland, what that Supreme Being is, whom we call 
God, providing we fuppofe only one, for to him 
we aicribe ail perfections. God cannot be other- 
wire conceived, but as a Being infinitely perfect. 
But if we fuppofe more Gods than one, every idea 
of divinity muft be dropped, for we cannot eafily 
conceive of what nature they are, or by what pro- 
perties they are to be diftinguiihed from each 
other. Third, By thefe means, alfo, all religion 
malt be dropped. For how could it appear to us, 
what, or of what nature the object of our worfhip 
would be ? For, either all thefe Gods, or at leait 
the greateft part of them, or only one, muft be 
worihipped : I£ the former, we ought to be well af- 
fured who they are, and how many, ten, or twen- 
ty, &c. If the latter, we ought to know, who 
the particular deity is, whom we are to worfhip, 
the reft being excluded. Fourth, If there were 
more Gods than one, each of them muft have his 
own efience, and his own properties, didinct from 
thofe of others, therefore, all of them muft want 
fame property or perfection, and confequently 
would net be Gods •, wherefore, right reafon leads us 
to the unity of God. Hence it is, that fuch among 
t:ie very Heathens, as excelled in wifdom and 
knowledge, acknowledged only one God. Laftly, 
the Scripture every whterf teacheth, that there is 
tut one Gcd, Deut iv, 35. Unto thee it was 
{hewed, that thou mighteit know, that the Lord, 


Upon the Attributes of God. 97 

he is God, there is none elfe befides him. And vi. 
4. Hear, O Ifrael : the Lord our God, is one God. 
Ifa. xlv, 5, 6. 1 Cor. viii. 4. 5. 6. What has been 
obferved upon the unity of God, overthrows Pol li- 
the ifm, as alio the romantic notions of Idolaters, 
who maintain a pleurality of Gods, and of the 
Manceheans, who hold, that there are two independ- 
ent, contrary principles, the one good, and the 
ether evil. 

V. The fifth attribute of God, is his Immenfity, 
or Omniprefence. I Kings viii. 27. But, will God 
indeed dwell on the earth, behold the Heaven, and 
Heaven of Heavens cannot contain thee. Jer. xxiii. 
24. Efpecially Pfid. exxxix. 2. 5. Whether fhall I 
go from thy fpirit ? Here again Divines agreeing 
as to the matter itfelf, difpute concerning the 
manner of it, viz. whether God be every where 
prefent, as to his effence, or only with refpeel to 
his operation and power. The firft. opinion feems 
to afcribe extention to God : For v. hat fome afTert, 
that God is every where as a point, but not by 
way of extention, is altogether incomprehenfible. 
The latter feems to feparate God from his eflence \ 
Therefore, the former opinion appears to many the 
more probable. Nothing can be determined here 
with precilion, fince we are ignorant of the nature 
of fpirits, and how they exift in a place. We 
know that our fouls exifls in our bodies, and that 
they exert their influence, in, and upon them, yet 
none can positively affirm how this is affected, cr 
whether they are confined to one part of the body, 
or diffufed through the whole, Therefore, it is 


9$ Sett. II. Chap. II. 

folly and rafhnefs, to fcrutinize into the manner of 
the omniprefence of an Infinite Spirit, it is fuffi- 
cient for us to know this immenfity of God, as far 
as it conduceth to his worfhip, viz. that we might 
believe, and have it habitually in our minds, that 
God is every where prefent, that he beholds and 
overrules all things, that we are perpetually con- 
cerned with him, and confequently, that he is the 
witnefs, and the judge of all our thoughts, and 
actions, and moreover, the mod wife and righteous 
governor, andr at the fame time the moll benevolent 
parent of the univerfe» 

VI. The feeth attribute of God, is his Know- 
ledge, or Science, of which Divines ufually con- 
fider. Firft, The object. Second, The manner. 
Of thefe two, the former is the principal, the latter 
cot fo neceffary. But this is the foible of very ma- 
ny Divines, that they combat about things of lefTer 
moment, when they fhould acquiefce in things 

i. God knows all things which are within, as 
well as without himfelf, he knows himfelf, and his 
own action •, for it is peculiar to fpirit, that they 
are confeious of their own actions and exiftence. 
Acts xv. 1 8. Known unto God are all his works, 
from the beginning. He knows all creatures, and 
all their operations. Pfal. cxlviii. 4. 5. The under- 
ftanding of God is there termed infinite. 1 Kings 
viii. 39. Pfal. exxxix. 2, 

z. It 

Upon the Attributes of God. 99 

2. It ought principally to be maintained, that 
God knows future events, which knowledge is 
termed Prefcience. And this is one of the princi- 
pal attributes, by which he diftinguimeth hirnfelf 
from idols. Ifa. xli. 22. 23. Among future 
events, he knows fuch as are termed contingen- 
cies, i. e. fuch things as may, or may not come 
to pafs. But thefe are contingent, not with re- 
fpect to God, but with refpect to us, for he either 
determines the event hirnfelf, or knows the part 
that man would be determined to act. Some are 
of opinion that the Divine Knowledge does not 
extend, to future contingencies, becaufe they 
have no exigence, nor certain caufe, and there- 
fore connot poffibly be known : But thefe are fully- 
confuted by the two following arguments. Firft, 
From predictions. For God hath foretold future 
contingencies, not only the good, but likewife 
the evil actions of men and their offences, John 
vi. 70. 71. concerning Judas the traitor. God, 
therefore mull neceftarily have foreknown thefe 
thing?, or otherwife, he muft have predetermin- 
ed, and effected them, which would be making 
him the author of fin. Second, If God did not 
foreknow furure contingencies, he could fcarcely 
forefee any thing as certain, before the event, and 
that on account of the connection, and concatena- 
tion of caufes, and effects. As for inftance, a 
certain king hath decreed to wage war with 
neighbouring kingdoms or nations, hence will en- 
fue great diftruction, horrid calamities, and revo- 
lutions in empires. Now, if previous to that 
king's decree, God was ignorant of the courfe he 


ico $e#. II. Chap. H. 

ment to purfue, he muft be ignorant of various 
events, which depended upon that determination, 
and fo his providence will be entirely abolifhed. 
So that this ought to be embraced as a truth, rati- 
fied in the moft foiid manner : That the Divine 
Knowledge extends to all things. And fince the 
Sacred. Scripture alTures us of it, we ought to re- 
tain it as a doctrine, in which we mould entirely 
acquiefce, though various perplexing quefiions 
might be moved, with refpect to the Divine Pre- 
ference, which we are not able to folve, on ac- 
COUnt of the imbecillity of our underfbnding, and 
fublimity of the fubject. The thing is clear 
in itfelf, but the manner of it, we cannot com- 

II, But to proceed to the manner of the Di- 
vine Science, we may obferve, that there is no 
reafon why we mould be very felicitous about it. 
For the Scripture informs us, that God is incom- 
prehenfible, and that his councils, and his ways, 
are vaftly raifed above the fphere of our under- 
ftanding. Rom. xi. 33. Difmifling, therefore, 
fuch things as are difputed in fchools, concerning 
the manner of this fcience, which are uncertain, 
©bfcure, and of little or no utility. Divines ex- 
plain its order in the following manner. They 
tell us, That God is poiTefied of a fcience of in- 
telligence, which preceeds the act of his will, by 
which he knows all things which are polTible, nay, 
many things, which fliall never come to pafs j and 
a fcience of vifion, by which he ( knows what 
things ihall certainly happen, or at prefent exifts. 


Upon the Attributes of God. rot 

But this diftm&ion is of no utility. Some add a 
middle fcience, by which God knows what part 
the creatures would have acted, when placed in 
fuch and fuch circumftances •, to this refer fome 
pafTages in Scripture, as Matt. xi. 21. If the 
mighty works which were done in you, had been 
done in Tyre and Sydon, they would have re- 
pented long ago, in fackcloth and afhes. But 
fmce the fcience of God is incomprehenfible, its 
order and manner, cannot be precifely defined, it 
is beft to fpeak refervedly of thefe things, or to 
be entirely filent. But here we ought to beware, 
left we confound the fcience of God, with his 
will : The will of God is the caufe of things ex- 
iting, which cannot be faid of his fcience. For 
the things, which are fimply the objects of the Di- 
vine Knowledge, do not come to pafs, nor are 
they fuch in themfelves, becaufe God hath known 
them. But God hath known them, becaufe they 
are to happen, and are fuch in themfelves. 

VII. To the knowledge of God, is united his 
wifdom, which differs from knowledge, in this 
refpect : Knowledge has for its object fuch things 
as may be known, but wifdom is employed in 
difpofing and ordering thefe things. The objects 
of wifdom are end and means. God is denomi- 
nated wife, becaufe he always propofes to him- 
felf a good end, and fuch as is agreeable to his 
perfections. Second, Becaufe he makes choice 
of, and applies fuch means as are mod proper for 
accomplishing that end, and conducts the whole 


I02 ScSt. II. Chap. II. 

of affairs, with consummate wifdom and impartial* 

VIII. The next thing we have to confider, is, 
the Will of God *, concerning which, we fhall only 
advance a few of the many things which are re- 
lated in Theological writings. The will of God, 
either denotes that which he intends mould be 
done, with refpect to us as Matt. vii. 21. i TheC 
iv. 3. This is the will of God, even your fandtf- 
fication. Or that act of God, by which he hath 
decreed to do fomething, or permit it to be done. 
For whatever things God wills to permit, are 
equally fubjefb to the Divine Will, with thole 
which he hath decreed to do, though not after the 
fame manner. 

Concerning the Will of God, we ought to 
fpeak foberly, and according to his word •, and 
only fo far as refpects us, and our falvation. In 
this refpect, the Scripture teacheth, that the will 
of God is, Firft, Efficacious \ fo that whatever he 
wills mufl be accomplished, and cannot poflibly 
be changed. Pfai. xlvi. 10. Pfal. cxv. 3. Our God 
is in the Heavens, he hath done whatfoever he 
pleafeth, who hath refitted his will ? Rom. ix. 19. 
Second, Holy *, for God wills only that which is 
good, and agreeable to his nature ; fo that he can- 
not will fin. PfaL lv. To the objection that God 
permits fin, we anfwer, that to will the commiflion 
of fin, is one thing, and to will the permiflion of 
it, is another. The former, God can never will ; 
and fin, in this refpect, can never be the object of 


Upon t'be Attributes of God icj 

the Divine Will, but the latter only. For God 
has juft reaTons, why he (hould permit fin, or why * 
by his omnipotence, he mould not prevent it ; and 
in this refpecl, the permiflion of fin, is a thing ne~- 
ceflary, nay, in a certain fenfe, good. Third, The 
will of God is good, i. e. profitable to men. Rom. 
xii. 2, Fourth, It is moil free \ fince God is not 
determined, nor compelled by any thing, or by 
any eternal caufe. Which yet ought not to be 
fo underftood. as if he could either will, or do, 
any thing without reafon, or in an arbitrary man- 
ner, which would oppofe his nature, efpecially 
his goodnefs. Bendes the will of God is vari- 
oufly divided. It is ufually diftinguifhed into his 
fecret will, or his will of good pleafure, which 
exifts in himfelf, and is unknown to us, by this 
he hath determined, what he himfelf mould do ; 
and his revealed will, by which he hath revealed, 
what he himfelf wills to do, as alfo what mould 
be done by us. It is alfo divided into abfolute, 
by which he wills to do any thing, abfolutely ; 
and conditional, by which he wills a thing under 
a certain condition •, as for inflance, tfe falvation 
of man, if they believe. Again, k is divided into 
antecedent, which precedes the act of man. Thus, 
he wills, that men mould be faved *, and confe- 
quent, which follows * the act of man, as when he 
wills to fave fuch -as believe. Befides, into his will 
of good pleafure, or decree, which determines the 
event ; fuch is his will concerning the fending of 
Chrift : and of approbation, as when he declares 
what is acceptable to him, or what is the duty of 
man ± this determines nothing concerning the 


I04 Sect. II. Chap. II, 

event. The former is afcribed to God, as fie is 
governor of the world *, the latter, as hc : is legifla* 
tor. And thefe distinctions may, indeed, be ad- 
mitted, providing, that by them no inconfiftency, 
nor contrariety be allowed between God and his 
will ; as if any one mould fay, that God, by his 
revealed will, Was unwilling that fin mould be 
commited, but by his fecret will, or will of de- 
cree, he both willed and decreed the commifiion 
of it. For, by thefe means, two contrary acts, 
would be afcribed to God, viz. that he both willed, 
and did not will a thing, in one and the fame in- 
ftant of time ; and declared, that he did not will a 
thing, which at the fame time, he both willed and 

IX. The Power of God, denotes both his fin 
preme right over all things, and his mightinefs, in 
aecompiiming whatever is his pleafare. 

Both reafon and the Sacred Scripture teach us, 
that this power is infinite and uni venal ♦, let it 
fufiice here, to make the following obfervations, 
Firfi, As to the queftion, how God, who is a fpirit, 
can exert his power or influence over the crea- 
tures. We anfvver, that it is no more difficult to 
be conceived, than the manner in which our fouls 
act upon our bodies, and move them at pleafure. 
Second, Such things as are inconfifient with the Di- 
vine Perfections, or involve a contradiction, can- 
not be the objects of the Divine Power. This we 
obferve, againft fuch as aflert that God could, if he 
thought fit, caufe things which are impofiible and 


Upon the Attributes of God. - 105 

contradictory, to become poflible and real. The 
Scripture teacheth, that God cannot do things 
which are inconfiitent with his perfections, when it 
fays, that he cannot lie, that he cannot deny him- 
'felf, &c. 3 Tim. ii. 13. The power of God, 
ought principally to be confidered, as it relates to 
ourfelves and our falvatidn. For he can provide 
for us things neceflary, both for the prefent, and 
the life which is to come. By his power, he can 
■inflict punifhments upon the wicked, and reward the 
righteous, which is the foundation of our duty, and 
the whole of religion. 

X. The goodnefs, or the love of God, is that 
perfection, by which he is both benevolent, and 
beneficent to his creatures, efpecially man •, this is 
the chief perfection of God, and that which mode- 
rates the exertion of his power. For whenever we 
reflect upon him, we muft immediately be ftruclc 
withafenfe of his goodnefs, 1 John iv. 8. God is 
love. Pf. cxlv. 8. 9. The Lord is gracious, and 
full of companion, flow to anger, and of great 
mercy. This goodnefs of God, is difcernable in 
the works of creation and providence, but efpeci- 
ally redemption. John iii. 16. God fo loved the 
world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that 
whofoever believeth in him might not perifh, but 
have everlafting life. Eph. ii. 4. 5. Likewife, in 
his long fufTering, patience towards finners. 2 Pet. 
iii. 9. God is long fufTering to us ward, not willing 
that .any mould perifh, but that all mould come to 

I Divines 

io6 "Seff. II. Chap. II. 

Divines difKnguifh the love of God, Into Am- 
ple love and mercy, the former has for its object, 
the creature in general, the latter, the creature in 
diitrefs, or in a ftate of fin. Likewife, into antece- 
dent love, or the love of benevolence, by which he 
bears a good will towards mankind, and is ready to 
communicate happinefs unto them : And confe- 
quent, viz. his love of friendfhip or complacency, 
which he bears to fuch as difcharge their duty. It 
cannot be denied, that certainly, there are various 
degrees of the divine love, and that he Joves moft in- 
tenfely, fuch as are truly pious. John xv. 1 4. 

But what we are to obferve next, being the 
principal thing, and chief tenet belonging to uni~ 
verfal Theology, is, that the whole of religion, is 
founded on this attribute of God, viz. his good- 
nefs and love. Therefore, nothing mould be attri- 
buted to him, which is inconfident with his good* 
nefs. Such places in Scripture, as fpeak of the 
wrath or hatred of God, are not to be underftood, 
in their proper fign in" cation, for anger and hatred 
do not at all appertain unto him, neither are 
chaftifements or punifhments, properly fpeaking, 
the effects of anger. The chaftifements of God, 
are not the effects of his anger -, but on tht con- 
trary, ought to be afcribed to his love, for he 
chaftifeth men, becaufe he loveth them With 
refpecl to the punifhments of a future world, fin- 
ners have brought them upon themfefves, and 
they are nothing elfe but the neceflary confe- 
quences of fin. For although God be mod affecti- 
onate towards mankind^ yet it is impoflible, that 


Upon the Attributes of God. 107 

impenitent miners, mould be admitted to the frui- 
tion of himfelf, which will be made appear, from 
what we mail obferve afterwards. The goodnefs of 
God has its limits, neither can it be difplayed to- 
wards men, let them live as they will. 

XI. The Sanctity, or Holinefs of God, admits 
a twofold meaning. Firft. It denotes his Supreme 
Excellency and Majefty. Ifa. vi. 3. Holy, Holy, 
Holy, Lord of Hofts. Second. It is taken in a 
more limited ngnifkation, for that purity of the 
Divine Nature and will, by which he is determined 
neither to do, nor will, nor approve of any- 
thing that is evil, perverfe, impure. But on 
the contrary, what is good, holy, profitable, and 
fuitable to the dignity of his nature, in which 
fenfehe is denominated Holy, 1 Pet. i. 15. 16. 
As he which hath called you is holy, fo be ye holy 
in all manner of converfation, becaufe it is writ- 
ten, be ye holy, for I am holy. Now this fanclity 
is fo enential to God, that it would be impious 
and blafphemous, to afcribe any thing to him incon- 
fiftent with it, or that would make him the author of 

XII. The Juftice of God, is either taken in an 
extennve fenfe, and denotes, that he does nothing 
but what is agreeable to the rectitude of his na- 
ture, and in this fenfe, his juftice differs but little 
from his holinefs ; or in a ftricl: fenfe, it iignifies 
the ftedfaft will of God, by which he renders unto 
every one his right. Here, we are to fuppofe, that 
God has a certain rule, or fundamental principles, 

I 2 according 

io3 S0. II, Chap. H. 

according to which, he regulates his actions to- 
wards his rational creatures, fueh a rule, viz. as is 
good, and j uft in itfelf : We alfo fuppofe, that the 
difference between moral good, and evil, is not an 
arbitrary thing, but neceftary, and founded on the 
very nature of things : And this rule, I fuppofe, 
may be found, both in the nature of God, and in 
the nature of man. For, Firft. God can will no- 
thing inconfiftent with his nature and properties, 
therefore, he is determined by his nature, to will 
certain things. Second. The nature of man con- 
firms this. God requires that man mould be holy, 
becaufeit plainly agrees with the nature of man,, fince 
without holinefs no man can be happy. 

The cafe being thus fta*ed, the acts of the Dr- 
vine Juftice are as follow, Firft. He propofes a juft 
law, agreeable to his own nature, and tending to 
the good of mankind. Second. He annexes to this 
law, the fanclions of promifes and threatnings, fo 
that men might be bound to obferve it. Third. 
He necelTariiy executes thefe promifes and threat^ 
nings, otherwife his law would be of no authority. 
He rewards, indeed, not according to the rigour 
of juftice, or of debt, yet juftly, and necerTarily, 
becaufe he hath declared that he uould do fo. 
Heb. vi. 10. God is net unrighteous to forget 
your work, &c. 2 Tim. tv. 8. Henceforth, there 
is laid up for me a crown of righteoufnefs, which 
the Lord, the Righteous Judge, will give me at 
that day. But he punifheth defervedlv, and ne- 
celTariiy, becaufe, if he did not fo, his law and 
threatnings would only be vain terrors, and could 


Upon the Attributes of God. x c-4 

not recall men from fin. Befuies it is plainly im- 
poftible, that God could beftow confummate feli- 
city upon a (inner who is unwilling to receive it, 
and is impenitent. He does not indeed punifli fo 
neceftarily, but that he may defer the punifh- 
ment, and invite the finner to repentance, for he 
is full of companion, and of his great mercy, hath 
delivered up Chrift for us, in order, that through 
faith and repentance, we might obtain falvation ; 
but he cannot fave fuch as will not believe, and 
are impenitent. Nay, by delivering up his own 
Son, he hath exhibited his juftice, his utter abhor- 
rence againfl fin, and immoveable purpofe, at 
length to puniih it. And thefe are fuch things as 
are neceflary to be known, concerning the juftice of 

There are many things difputed here, con- 
cerning the univerfal and particular juftice of God, 
by Limborchius and others, which are very intri- 
cate •, as likewife concerning his fovereigntv, whe- 
ther he could, by virtue of his fupreme right or 
authority, deliver up the creature, however inno- 
cent, to eternal torments ; to which queftion, 
fbme have audacioufly anfwered in the affirmative. 
But queftions of this nature .are vain, and pre- 
fumptuous, wherefore, we think it proper to difmifs 

XIII. The Truth, or Faithfulnefs of God, de- 
notes that conformity which fubfifts between the 
words and actions of God, and his will, and the 
nature of things -, and this is what is called Since- 

I 3 n*y- 

I ! 3 Se&. IL Chap. II. 

rity. Heb. vi. 18. Second. It fignifies his fidelity, 
invariable fteadinefs, or veracity, in perform- 
ing whatever he hath fpoken. Heb. x. 23. For 
is faithful that promifed. But fince God is 
every where in Scripture faid to be faithful, and true, 
we ought to be cautious, left we would afcribe any 
thing to him, which would oppofe his Sincerity, and 

XIV. The only attribute now remaining, is his 
Beatitude, or Happinefs. The very idea and na- 
ture of God, evinces his fupreme felicity, for fince 
he is God, for that very reafon, he mull be pofTefT- 
edof every good, in the higheft degree, and con- 
sequently mull be moft happy, and the only foun- 
tain of happinefs. This Paul aflerts, 1 Tim. i. 2. 
and vi. 15. From this attribute of God, much 
light is reflected upon univerfal Theology \ for 
fince God is perfectly happy in himielf, k is evi- 
dent, that he (lands in need of nothing, no not of 
our fervices -, fo that if he hath revealed himfelfto 
us, and demands our worfhip and obedience, this 
he does, not on account of his own, but our intreft 
Job, xxii. 2. 3. 4. Can a man be profitable unto 
God ? &c. And xxxv. 6. 7. 8. If thou finneft, 
what doft thou againft him. So much upon the 
Attributes cf God. , 

C H A>. 


Upon the Holy Trinity. iif 

Chap. III. 

Upon the Holy Trinity. 

E have now to (hew, that the Divine Ef- 
fence is in common between the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghofl: •, which argument muft, in- 
deed^ be handled foberly, and according to the 
word of God. For the various herefies, concern- 
ing the Trinity, took their rife from no other 
caufe, but men's departing from the fimplicity- 
of Scripture. The Hereticks, on the one hand, 
were unwilling to admit the true meaning of Scrip- 
ture, while the Orthodox, on the other, were guilty 
of many additions, and attempted to explain, and 
define many things, concerning which, there is the 
deeped filence in Scripture. Therefore, difmiiiing 
arguments, and reafons, taken from Philoiophy, 
with which, both antient, and fome modern Divines 
have endeavoured to explain, and prove this article 
of our faith, let us here fpeak from Scripture only, 
and with Scripture. 

The texts ufually produced out of the Old Te- 
ftament, in fupport of the doctrine of the Trinity, 
are of two kinds. Firft. There are fome, which. 
feem to be attended with little force, as that a 
pleurality of perfons may be proved from the word 
Elohim, Gods, being found in the plural number. 
Alfo, Gtn. i. 26. Let us make man. And, xi. 7. 
Likewife, xix. 24. Then the Lord rained, from 
the Lord, out of Heaven. Second. There are 


HZ SeB. II Chap. HI. 

fome prophecies, which have a refpect unto tht 
MeiTiah, and indicate his divinity, as Pf. xlv. 7. 
Thou loveft righteoufnefs, and hated wickednefs, 
wherefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with 
the oil of gladnefs, &c. And, ex 1. Ifa. ix, 6, 
Which prophecies being illuftrated by the light of 
the Gofpel, prove the divinity of the Lord Jefus •, 
and are applied to him in the New Teftament, 
where we are to look for an ample confirmation of 
this doctrine , concerning which, the writers of the 
New Covenant teach us the two following parti- 
culars. Firft. That there is adiftinclion between 
the Father, Son, and Holv Spirit. Second. That 
the Divine Nature is in common between the Fa- 
ther, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

The facred writers openly declare the former, 
for there is mention made pf three, in the books 
of tiiQ New Teftament, Matt. iii. 16. 17. and 
xxviii. 19. Baptizing them in the name of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft, 
j Cor, xii. 4. 5. 6. Now, there are diverfities of 
gifts, but the fame Spirit, and there are diverfities 
of adminiftrations/but the fame Lord, and there are 
diverfities of operations, but it is the fame God 
which worketh all in all. 1 John, v. 8. It is dis- 
puted by many, whether this quotation be genuine, 
becaufe it is not to , be met with in antient copies, 
but fome contend, that it is genuine. 

Besides, we may obferve, that the Father is 
every where diftinguifhed from, the Son, which 
is fo clear, as to need no proof, But the Holy 


Upon the Holy Trinity. 1 1 3 

Spirit is diftinguimed from the Father, and the 
Son. John, xiv. 16. And I will pray the Father, 
and he (hall give you another comforter. 1 Cor. 
xii. This difiinclion is expreffed, by the term Per- 
fon, which term may be ufed, but not urged, 
otherwife we might fall into Tritheifm. Divines 
differ in their explication of the word perfon, in 
divinity •, there are fome who call it Intelligent 
Subftance ; but this is obfcure, and needs to be 
further explained. Others, again, would have per- 
fons to be modes of fubfifling, which looks more 
probable. But thefe things are obfcure, and 
liable to various difficulties j hence it is, that 
thefe terms have given occafion to various contro- 
verfies, which moftly confuted in difputes about 
words. It is therefore fufficient to fay, that the 
Scripture makes a diftinction between the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghoft 5 and if any one mould aflc, 
Wherein that diftinction precifely conflfts, it were 
better for us modeftly to confefs our ignorance, 
than to expofe ourfelves, and the truth, to the de- 
rifion of our adverfaries. Who would wonder, 
that there is fomething here, which furpafleth our 
comprehenfion, when treating of an Infinite Being. 

II. The other particular which the Scripture teach- 
eth, is, that the Divine Nature belongs to the Fa- 
ther, Son, and Holy Ghoft •, and, indeed, Divines 
prove this, with refpecl to the Son. 

1. Because he is called God. John, i. t 
Which pafTage, the Socinians erroneoufly explain, 
as relating to the beginning of the Gofpcl. Rom. 


114 SeB. II. Chap. III. 

ix. 5. There mention is made of both his natures, 
human and divine, and he is ftilcd, God, blefTed for 
ever •, which phrafeology, or mode of expreftion, 
is applicable to the true God only. Heb. i. 8. 
To the Son he fayeth, thy throne, O God ! is for 
ever and ever. Tit. ii. 13. Looking for that 
blefTed hope, and the glorious appearing of the 
great God, and our Saviour Jefus Chrift. 1. John, 
v. 20. 

2. Not only the name of God, but the very 
properties of the Divine Nature, are attributed to 
Chrift, as that he had an exiftence prior to his na- 
tivity. John viii. 58. Before Abraham was I am. 
Which pafTage, yet, taken fingularly, could only 
prove his pre-exiftence, but not his eternal Divi- 
nity. The Socinians fay, that Chrift was before 
Abraham, becaufe he had the fame exiftence in 
the degree of God, as he had after his nativity, but 
that is abfurd, neither does the feries of Chrift's 
difcourfe, againft which, the Jews objected, Thou 
art not yet fifty years old, and haft thou feen, 
Abraham ? fuflier us to admit this interpretation ; 
nor is it better fupported, by what others affert, 
viz. that the meaning that Chrift exifted before 
what the name of Abraham denotes, was accom- 
plifhed, i. e. before he became the father of many 

The Pre-exiftence and Divinity of Chrift, is 
farther notified, John i. 1. In the beginning w/as 
the word. And xvii. 5. Glorify me with that glory, 
which I had with thee, before the world was. 


Upon the Holy Trinity. 115 

Omnipotence is afcribed to (Thrift. Matt, xxvii. 
10. All power is given me in Heaven, and in 
Earth. Rev. i. 8. Omniprefence. Matt, xxviii. 
20. And lo, 1 am with you, even unto the end of 
the world. Omnifcience, efpecially the knowledge 
of the thoughts of the heart. John ii. 24. Rev. 
ii. 23. I am he, which fearcheth the reins and the 
heart, compared with Jer. xvii. 10. Likewife, John 
xxi. j 7. Lord, thou knoweft all things. 

III. The works which are afcribed to (Thrift, 
are plainly divine, as, Creation, Redemption, Judg- 
ment, &c. John 1. 3. Col. i. 15. 16. 17. Who is 
the image of the inviiible God, and the firft born of 
every creature, for by him all things were made, 
Heb. i. 10. 11. 12. 

IV. We prove that (Thrift is God, from divine 
wor/hip being due to him. John v. 23. That all 
men mould honour the Son, even as they honour 
the Father. Phil. ii. 9. 10. 11. That at the name 
of Jefus, every knee fhall bow. Acts vii. 59. 
Heb. i. 6. And let all the Angels of God worfhip 
him. 2 Pet. iii. 18. Grow in grace, and in the 
knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jefus Chrift, 
to whom be glory, both now and evermore, 
Amen. Which doxology cannot be applied to 
any but the true God. Now if (Thrift were a meer 
man, or a creature, he could not be worshipped in 
fuch a manner, without incurring the guilt of idol- 
atry. Ifa. xlii, 8. I am Jehovah, that is my 


n6 Sect. II. Chap. III. 

name, and I will not give my glory to another- 
Rev. xix. 10. 

We may obferve, with refpect to the Holy 
Ghoft, that the Scripture feldom fpeaks of his per- 
fon or efTence, but very frequently of his operations. 
The reafon is, becaufe the Scripture fpeaks of Godly 
and divine things only, according to the relations he 
ftands in to us, and as far as is neceffary for our falva- 
tion, fo that it concerns us more, to know what are 
the effects of the Spirit of God within us, than to 
know what he is in his effence, or how he is to be 
diftinguifhed from the Father. 

But that the Divine Nature is effential to the 
Holy Spirit, is fo apparent, Aat he who denies it, 
may with equal propriety deny the divinity of the 
Father. For fince the Holy Spirit is the very 
power of God, by which he acts and effects all 
things, it is clearer than noon day, that he is of a 
divine nature, and whatever is effential to God, 
muft be effential to the Spirit of God likewife •, 
this Spirit always exifted, frequent mention is 
made of him in the Old Teftament, he is faid 
to have fpoken by the Prophets. The attri- 
butes of God, Omnifcience, Omnipotence, &c. 
are afcribed to him, as likewife the works of God. 
John xvi. 13. And xiv. 26. 1 Cor. ii. 10. 11. The 
Spirit fearcheth all things, yea, the deep things of 
God. 1 Cor. xii. 8. 9. 10. 11. 

Yet many enquiries have been made, and many 
difputes have arifen, concerning this argument, 


Upon the Holy Trinity. 1 1 7 

and firft, Indeed, concerning the generation of the 
Son, which many attempted to explain, as, like- 
wife, concerning the procerTion of the Holy Spirit ; 
Divines aflerting, that the Spirit proceedeth from 
the Father, not by way of generation, but by way 
of fpiration, which term is very obfcure. There 
was another controverfy between the Latin and 
Greek Church, which was to {fed about with great 
warmth of temper, concerning this proccflion. 
The Latines afferting on the one hand, that the 
Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son •, but 
the Greeks on the other, that he proceeded from 
the Father by the Son ; and on account of this ex- 
prelTion, and the Son^ a great fchifm arofe be- 
tween the Eaftern and Weflern Church. But there 
was no reafon, why the antients contended fo 
warmly about the proceiTion of the Spirit, as there 
is only one place in Scripture, in which it is men- 
tioned, viz. John xv. 26. The Spirit of trutk 
which proceedeth from the Father. The meaning 
of which text, is plain and fimple, viz. that the 
Spirit was fent, or was to be fent by the Father to 
the Apoftles, after the afcenfion of Chrift, as he 
himielf explains it. But Divines were of opinion 
that the miflion of the Holy Spirit was not intend* 
ed here, but the manner in which the EfTence, or 
Perfon of the Spirit proceeded from the Father 
from all eternity, and inquired into the nature of 
that procerTion. But thefe are idle, frivolous, nay, 
prefumptuous and dangerous queftions, fictions of 
the imagination, and mere traditions. 


Ii8 Sect. II. Chap. III. 

In the ancient Church, in the firft and fecond 
century, the doctrine of the Trinity was oppoled, 
by the Ebionites, and Cerinthians, who maintain- 
ed, that Chrift was a meer man, againft whom, 
as we are informed by ancient tradition, John 
wrote his Gofpel. Paulus Samofatenus denied the 
Divinity of Chrift, for which reafon, he abolimed 
certain Hymns which were ufually fung to his 
praife. Sabellius, denied that there was any 
diftinction between the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghoft, maintaining that there was but one God, 
who pafTed under thefe different denominations, 
being fometimes called the Father, fometimes the 
Son, and at other times tne Holy Ghoft. Arius 
afferted, that Chrift was of a fimilar eflence with 
the Father, but not of the fame eflence, faying, 
that he was made or begotten, before ages. He 
was condemned in the Nicene Council, A. D. 325, 
Macedonius denied the Divinity of the Spirit, he 
was condemned by the Synod of Conftantinople, 
in the year 381. The Socinians maintain that 
.Chrift was a meer man, that after his refurrection he 
obtained the higheft glory, and thus became God ; 
but it is certain, that few herefies would have arifen 
concerning the Trinity, if this doctrine had been 
taught in the Church, with fimplicity, and according 
to the word of God. 

The proper ufe of this doctrine, is, Firft. To 
acknowledge the infinite mercy of God towards 
mankind, who delivered up his own Son, for the 
fins of men, John iii. 16. The excellency of which 
gift, would be greatly diminifhed, if we confi- 


Upon the Holy Trinity. 1 19 

dercd Chrifl but as a meer man. Second. The 
perfection, both of the do&rine and fatis faction of 
Chrift. Third. That we mould render unto him 
that worfhip, reverence, obedience, prayers, and 
praifes, which he is juftly entitled to, as he is 
God, and our judge. Fourth. To implore the 
grace and arMance of the Holy Spirit, with the 
mod ardent prayers, fo that as we are redeemed by 
the Son, we may be purged from the pollution of fin 
by the Holy Spirit, and thus become partakers of 
eternal falvation. 

Having thus premifed the doctrine concerning 
God, let us proceed to the firft part of Theology, 


£ 120 ] 




Of the Time which preceded the Advent ofChrift* 

Chap. I. 

Of the Creation. 

As we are now to treat of the Creation, we 
ihall confider it, Firft. In general. Second. In 

I. TTiriTH refpect to the Creation, in general, 
YY we have two things to demonftrate. 
Frft. That the world was created. Second. HoW 
it was created. 

I. That the world was created by God, may 
be proved, Firft. From Scripture, which exprefsly 
teacheth this article of our faith. Gen. i. and eve- 
ry where elfe. Second. From reafon, in this man- 
ner *: Either the world had a beginning, or it had 
not •, if it had a beginning, it muft have been pro- 
duced by fome caufe, but that caufe could be none 
elfe but God. If it had no beginning, it muft be 


Upon the Creation. 121 

eternal, but every thing is againft the eternity of 
the world, as for inilance, hiftory, which is too 
recent, not extending beyond the fpace of fix, or 
(^v^n thoufand years. As to the objection that 
the hiftory of the Egyptians, and Chinefes, is far 
more ancient than Sacred Hiftory, it is eafily an- 
fwered, fince what the Egyptians relate, concern- 
ing the ancient and very remote Dynaftians, under 
the dominion of the gods and demi-gods, are rm- 
nifeftly fabulous. In other refpects, the Chrono- 
logy of the Egyptians and Chinefes, exactly cor* 
refponds with Sacred Hiftory, which has been al- 
ready fully proved by men of learning. The ori- 
gin, likewife of nations, empires, arts and fciences, 
cannot confift with the eternity of the world •, the 
feries and order of generations, bring us to the nrft 
man, and common principal of the human race. 
And left any one ftiould object, that more ancient 
monuments of hiftory were formerly extant, which 
iince have been loft, we obferve, that the ancients 
acknowledged this novelty of the world, and faid 
that its nature was new, or not of long exiftence. 
The poet Lucretius, though an adversary to Chrif- 
tianity, even in his day, made ufe of this argument, 
taken from hiftory and the origin of arts, againft the 
eternity of the world. 

If there was no original principle, which gave 
being to the Heavens and the earth, and if t ? 
exifted from eternity, why did not more ancient 
poets treat of facts, previous to the war of Thebes, 
or the deftruction of Troy ? 

K a. Creation 

122 Part I. Chap. I. 

2, Creation is commonly diftinguifhed, into 
Firft, and Second. The firft was the production 
r out of nothings and perhaps this crea- 
tion of matter, as iikewife of the Angels, pre- 
ceded the creation of this vifible world, fome fpace 
of time : At lead the account which Mofes gives of 
man's fall, makes it very probable. Since even at 
that time, the Devil had arrived at the fummit of 
wickednefs, and therefore fome fpace of time muft 
have elapfed, after his revolt, which was preceded by 
the ftate of innocence, in which the apellate Angels 
were created. 

Be this as it will, Mofes defcribes the formation 
ci this world, as a fecond creation. Firft. God 
created all things by his word, that is, by his 
command and will, which is a work of fupreme 
and boundlefs power. Pf. xxxiii. 6. Second. God 
obferved a certain order in the creation, for he 
did not create all things in an inftant, but in the 
fpace of fix days, viz. on the firft day he produced 
light, but not as yet collected into a particular fpace ; 
on the fecond, the expanfe or firmament •, on the 
third, he feparated the waters from the earth, and 
produced plants out of the earth •,- on the fourth, the 
ftars •, on the fifth, fiihes and fowls •, on the iixth, 
terreftrial animals, and man. 

Now, a twofold reafon may be afligned, why 
God did accomplifh this work, in the fpace of fix 
days. Firft. That he obferved a certain order, 
convenient to the nature of things. Second. That 
he intended hereby to evince, that he was the au- 

Upon the Creation, 123 

thor and governor of all, even the mod minute of the 
creatures, and that he implanted in each of them, its 
peculiar nature and properties. 

II. Creation, confidered particularly, refpecls 
either Angels or man. Firft. Concerning the An- 
gels, the following particulars are related in Scrip- 
ture, for we can underftand little or nothing of 
them from rcafon. Firft. That there are Angels, 
for they are mentioned every where, and they are 
faid to have been created, by God. Pf. cxlviii. 2. 
&rc. So that it is amazing, how the Sadduces came 
to deny their exigence. Second. As to the nature 
of Angels, we are to underftand, that the name 
Angel is derived from their office, and not from 
their nature, and fignifies an AmbafTador, or Mi- 
nifterofGod. Yet the word of God informs us 
wherein their nature confifts, they are fpirits, en* 
dowed with the underftanding and will. Heb. i. 4, 
Immortal. Luke xx. 36. Powerful. Pf. ciii. 20. 
Their number is very great. Dan. vii. 10. Third. 
We learn, from the word of God, that a certain 
order, and fubordination takes place among them, 
there mention is made of Archangels, as alfo, of 
the Devil, and his Angels •, but they are good or 
evil. The good Angels perfevered in their in- 
tegrity, and feem to be fo confirmed in a ftate of 
happinefs, that they cannot fall from it, as it is cer- 
tain, that the wicked are damned without hope of 

K 2 Soiris 

224 Part I. Ebfy. L 

Some Divines have fpoke many things, con- 
cerning the election and reprobation of Angels, 
about which the Scripture is entirely filent •, but 
it is beft, difmifilng thefe* to enquire into the 
offices, or employments of good Angels. Firft. 
With refpect to God, the> celebrate his praife, 
wcrfhip him reverently, and fulfil his commands. 
Ifa. vi. 2. 3. 4. Holy, Holy, Holy. Lord of Hofts. 
Pf. ciii. 20. Blefs the Lord, ye his Angels, that ex- 
cel in fireagth, that do his commandment, hcark- 
ning unto the voice of his word. Second. With 
refpect to the world, their operations are various. 
Third. With refpecx to men, whom they either pro- 
tect or punifn, of this there are various examples ex- 
tant in Scripture. Pf. xxxiv. 8. The Angel of the 
Lord encampeth round about them that fear him. 
Heb. i. 14. And although the operations of An- 
gels be not now a days confpicuous, or vifible, ne- 
verthelefs it is certain, that every day they perform 
various operations. 

It is enquired, whether a guardian Angel be 
afligned to every perfon, which was the opinion of 
many ancient Chriftians, and is flail retained in the 
Church of Rome. 

The chief pafTage adduced in confirmation of 
this doctrine, is in Matt, xviii. 10. Take heed, 
that ye difpife not one of thefe little ones, for I 
fay unto you, that in Heaven, their Angels do al- 
ways behold the face of my father. That paffage 
in the A els x'i 15. It is his Angel, has no force 
with it. It is certain, from the word of God, that 


Upon the CreatiQn. 

fometimes many Angels prefide over one man, and 
fometimes one Angel over many men, But the 
opinion which affigns a bad Angel, or genius, to 
every man, has no foundation, and fcems to make 
God the author of fin. 

The evil Angels, again departed from their in- 
tegrity, being feduced by the Devil, who exercifes 
a principality over them. It may be afked here, 
wherein did the nature of their fin confiil, and it 
is commonly (aid to have been pride, but this 
does not appear. Yet it is certain, that it muft 
have been mod heinous, as they are damned with- 
out hope of pardon. 2 Pet. ii. 4. God hath left 
fome power itill remaining with them, as appears 
from Scripture, yetfo, as that it hath been greatly 
diminifhed fince the coming of Chriil, for they do 
not fo torment Christians now, as they did men be- 
fore, yet it is in their pewer to tempt them. 1 Pet. 
v. 8. Be fober and vigilant, becaufe your adversary 
the Devil, as a roaring iion, walketh about feeking 
whom he may devour. 

We are now to treat of the creation of Man. 
God created man laft, in the order of creation, 
as being the mod excellent workmanmip •, he 
formed his body out of the earth, and breathed 
into him a living foul, which is a Spiritual, and 
immortal fubftance. Now, the d inunction be- 
tween foul and body, is confirmed by many ar- 
guments, taken both from Scripture and reafbn. 
The Spirit returneth to God, Ecclef. xii. 9. 1 
/hall the duft return to the earth as it was, and 

K 3 the 

126 Part I. Chap. I. 

the fpirit fliall return unto God who gave it. Matt, 
x. 28. The faculties of the foul are, Firft. The 
understanding, by which we apprehend things, rea- 
fon and judge concerning them. Second. The will, 
which is bent towards certain objects, and is averfe 
to others ; but it defrres no object but what is good, 
or under the appearance of goodnefs. Third. Li- 
berty, which is eflential to (pints, and is the faculty 
of determining, or chufing between two or more 

There have been various difputes concerning 
the will, both in Philofophy and Theology, viz. 
whether it follows the dictate of the underftand- 
ing ? As alfo concerning liberty, whether it con- 
fifts only, in immunity from compulfion, or which 
is the fame, in fpontaniety, by which a man acts, 
indeed, necefiarily, but at the fame time willingly ^ 
or in indifference, fo that a man, when every mo- 
tive necefTary for action is propofed to him, may 
act, or not act, this or the other part or among ma- 
ny objects, chufe, or embrace this, or the other at 

I do not think that an abfblute or precife an- 
fwer, can be returned to thefe queitions, either by 
affirming or denying : But we may fay, that both 
are pcfiible, and, that this is the cafe, every one 
will beconfcious, by looking into himfelf: Thefe 
quertions, indeed, feem to be very intricate, yet I 
think they may be folved with little trouble, as 
our difcourfe here, is concerning a matter of fact, 
m which we are almoft every moment concerned, 


Upon the Creation. 127 

and of which we are fo corrfcious. Therefore, thefe 
queftions are better deduced from {enfe y and expe- 
rience, than from the determinations of Philofophers 
and Divines, who for the moft part, departing from 
nature, and the eafy and plain way, indulge them- 
felves in fubtile argumentation ; fo that, if any one 
would turn his attention inwardly, and examine how 
he is impelled to action, he will find, or I am greatly 
miftaken, what I am now to obferve to be moll 

As to the queftion, whether the will obeys the 
iaft dictate of the underftanding ? I anfver, that 
fometimes it does, and at other times it does not. 
It oftentimes happens, that on the one fide, the 
moil powerful motives prefent themfelves to us, 
but on the other, very flight ones, and fuch as af- 
fect us very little. Then we obey what the un- 
derftanding dictates. But at other times, motives, 
for and againft a thing, may prefent themfelves to 
us, which do affect us much, as in temptations, 
which are attended with a conflict, then it is pofti- 
ble, that we may not follow the dictate of the 
underftanding. JLikewife, as to the queftion, 
whether liberty confifts in fpontaniety, or immuni- 
ty from compulfion, or in indifference ? I anfwer, 
that both may happen. For I am fenfible, from ex- 
perience, that I am fometimes fo determined to act, 
that it is not in my power to avoid it, yet at the 
fame time I act fpontaneoufly willing, and no£ 
byconftraint. But fometimes I find myfe!f mak- 
ing a choice, between two or more objects, and 
am not fo determined on the one part, as not to 

128 ■ Tart I. Chap, ti 

be alio impelled to the other ; as, when two ob- 
jects prefent themfelves to me which are equally 
attractive, as for inftar.ce, in temptations, when I 
befitate, doubting, whether I ought to gratify my 
defire, or refift it, in that cafe, I chnfe and act: at 
pleafure, and ufe the faculty which God hath 
given me. Therefore, it is clear, that liberty 
ought not to be defined, with too much precision. 
And perhaps it were better to ftate the queilicn 
concerning liberty, after a different manner, viz. 
not wherein liberty confifts, for then the contro- 
verfy will turn upon the term •, but how a man 
does aci, to which we anfwer, that fometimes he 
ae>s fpontaneoufly and necefiarily, yet willingly* 
at other times he is indifferent, and makes a 
choice. So that indifference is not totally to be 
rejected. But, on the other hand, neither ought 
liberty to be fo placed in indifference, that laying 
it aflde, there could be no liberty, as the remon- 
fcrants do, who acknowledge no liberty but of in* 
difference, and affert, that tjie will acts in this, 
or in a different manner, merely to fhew its liber- 
ty, which is by no means true, and is inconfiftent 
with the nature of man, who is alvays, at leail in 
things of any moment, impelled to action, by 
fbme reafott, true or falfe. Some of the Armi; 
nians carried this point fo far (whilft others v.ere 
calling out againft them) as to aflert, that (Thrift 
was not abfolutely impeccable, or incapable cf 
fir.nirg, which is odious, and almofl blaiphemous. 
*1 hey were fo much of opinion, that liberty was fo 
tlofely ccnnccled with indifference, that it could 
notcorSSi Yvitli neecfLty. And befdes, Limbur- 



Upon the Creation 129 

gius, at the very beginning of his Theology, 
tfcribes fuch a liberty unto God. But laftlv, as 
the will of man is greatly depraved by fin, we mould 
be cautious, left, when we afcribe liberty unto hi n, 
fuch a liberty mould be underftood, as that man 
©fhimfelf, and by his own faculties, could eitner 
chute, or do any thing that is good. 

Something remains now to be faid concerning 
the Image of God, according to which man was 
formed. It confined, Firft. In that excellency of 
his nature which is difcernable, both in his foul, 
and in his body. Second. In his innocence, and 
redtitude. Ecclef. vii. 29. God made man up- 
right, &c. Yet the endowments of Adam, ought 
not to be too highly extolled, as fome do, who af- 
cribe to him, knowledge alrnoft infinite, and fanc- 
tlty almoft angelical j fince by thefe means, it can 
Icarcely be conceived how he could have fallen. 
Third. In his dominion over the creatures. Gen. i. 
26. Pf. viii. 6. 7. 8. Thou madeft him to have 
dominion over the works of thy hands, thou haft 
put all tilings under his feet. Fourth. Adam was 
immortal, not, indeed, abfolutely, and of himfelf, 
but he would not have died, had he not finned, 
this is fuppofed by the threatning denounced againft 
him. Gen. ii. 16. 

It may be here enquired, whether the image of 
Cod is ftili to be found in man, after the fall ? It 
cannot be denied, that it fuffered a considerable 
diminution. Gen. iii. 17. Yet it was not totally 
abolifhed. Gen. ix. 6, 1 Cor. xi. 7. But through 


130 Part I; Chap. IL 

Chrif! it is reftored to a higher degree of perfection, 
than it was in Adam. Put on the new man, which 
after God, is created in righteoufnefs and true holi- 
nefs. Eph..iv. 25. Col. iii. 10. 

The ufe of this doctrine, is to acknowledge the 
fupreme power, and goodnefs of God, difplayed in 
the creation of man, and to be grateful. Second. 
To employ thefe powers and faculties, which he has 
conferred upon us, whether they be natural, or 
fupernatural, in promoting his own glory, and our 

Chap. II. 

Upon Providence. 

PROVIDENCE comes in next, after the work 
of Creation. Firft. We fhall demonftrate, 
that there is a Providence. Afterwards, fliew 
wherein it confifts. 

The former is evinced by a variety of argu- 
ments, but principally fuch as follow. Fifft. From 
this very confideration, that there is a God. For 
whoever acknowledges the exiftence of God, and 
at the fame time denies, that he fuperintends the 
affairs of the univerfe, annuls and overthrows his 
exiftence. The eflence of God confifts in nothing 
elfe, but his excellencies and perfections. Now, 
thefe perfections have an entire refpect unto the 
creatures, fuch are his wifdom, power, goodnefs, 
&c. neither could they be known, or acknow- 
ledged, but by his government of the world. So 


Concerning Providence. 131 

that by denying the do&rine of a Providence, 
thefe perfections are overthrown, and confequent- 
Jy the very nature of God. Second. From crea- 
tion. For granting a creation, we muft, of courfe, 
acknowledge a Providence -, the Creator of the 
world muft, of courfe, be its governor. For in 
creating the world, he muft certainly have pro- 
pofed fome end, which could not be accomplifhed 
otherwife, than by his Providence fuperintending 
all things. Third. The harmony which prevails 
in the world, the difpofition and arrangement of 
the whole creation, fo wife and (o uniform, is a 
moft evident proof of One Supreme Caufe, moil 
wife and moft benevolent, as has been already 
obferved. Fourth. The Scripture every where 
teacheth, that God overrules all things, both great 
and fmall. It would be unneceftary here, to mul- 
tiply quotations •, among others, Matthew may be 
consulted, vi. 26. Behold the fowls of the air, for 
they fow not, neither do they reap, yet your Hea- 
venly Father feedeth them. Fifth. The argu- 
ment taken from prophecies is of the greateft 
weight, none of which could have ever exifted, 
had not God forefeen, and procured the events. 
Sixth. Extraordinary, and miraculous events fur- 
nifti us with the fixth argument. For if there 
were no free and intelligent caufe, which governed 
the univerfe, every thing which happens in the 
world muft be cfFedled by a natural and fatal ne- 
ceftlty ; neither would there have ever been any 
change or interruption, refpecTing the order of 
the world, and opperation of natural caufes *, (o that 
all things muft have continued immutably, in an 


132 Part I. Cbnp. IL 

unalterable ftate •, but thefe extraordinary events 
fuppofe a free caufe, which inverts, or impedes 
the order and effects of caufes at pleafure. But 
that f'.ich extraordinary events have happened, is 
evident, even from the teftimony of other hifto- 
rians, and almofl the univerfal confent of man- 
kind •, as for inftance, concerning the flood, &c. 
The objections, which are commonly urged here, 
are either trivial., trite, or vulgar, fo that we need 
net confume much time in refuting them \ as that 
pafiage in 1 Cor. ix. 9. Thou malt not muzzle the 
mouth of the ox, that treadeth out the corn. 
D«.th God take care for oxen ? which every one 
fees, ought not to be taken in an abfolute, but 
comparative kn{e. The fame thing may be (aid, 
of that pafTage in Habac. i. 14. And makes man 
as the riiVs of the fea, and as the creeping things, 
which have no rule over them •, unlefs, perhaps, 
this text might be otherwife tranflated than we have 
it in our Bibles •, and we are to underftand it, not 
of God, but Nebuchadnezar, who, like a fiiher, 
plundered, and dragged all things after him j which 
explication is quite confiilent with the preceding, 
and fubfequent parts of the difcourfe. 

It is alfo objected, that many things fall out in 
a diforderly manner, and for which no caufe can 
be afTigned. This we deny, becaufe, it does not 
follow, from our ignorance of the caufe of fome 
things, that they are done without reafon : Every 
thing is conducted, according to the moil perfect 
wifdom, and laws, eftablimed by God. It is 
ufually likewife objected, that the wicked are fuf- 


Concerning Providence. 133 

fered to flouiifh and profper, whilft the virtuous 
are opprefied and afflicted. But befides, that it is 
not evident to us, who are really good, or evil, 
the Providence of God is confpicuous in this, 
that he permits the godly, fometimes, to 'be Op- 
preffed and afflicted, and the wicked to enjoy 
temporal plenty, and this for very juft reafons 5 
efpecially, becauie by thefe means he plainly mews, 
that neither real happinefs, nor the real punilh- 
ments of fin, are to be expected in this life, or 
in things external •, but in the world to come, 
when he will render unto every one, according to his 

II. We are now to fee wherein Providence con- 
fids. And here, in the firft place, let us confider its 
object. Secondly, the manner in which it is con- 
cerned in the affairs of the univerfe. 

1. All things are fubject to Divine Providence, 
things celeftial, terreftnal, angels, men, all creatures, 
events, &c. Likewife, future contingencies, even 
fuch as appear to be leaft important, as we have 
already (hewn, when treating of the fcience of 
God, and is confirmed by a variety of Scripture 
proofs, Matt. vi. 2 8. and x. 29. Pfal. cxlv. 15. 16. 
This is alio evinced by reafon, as the power and 
wifclom of God, is no lefs confpicuous, in the ad- 
min iftration of fmaller, than of matters of the 
greater!: moment. Therefore, it is not unworthy 
ef the Majefty of God, to attend to, even the 
moil minute things. Befides, if all things even 
the fmalleic, were not fubject to the Providence 


134 Part f" c Z> a ?> H- 

of God, fcarcely any thing could be faid to be gov- 
erned by him ; for fuch is the order, connection, and 
dependence of caufes and effects, that oftentimes 
the leafl caufes concur, in producing the greatefl 

The cafe here is the fame as with an artift, 
who could not furnifh a clock or watch, if he was 
ignorant of the ufe of any, even the fmallefl part, 
or leafl wheel, and could not adjufl it in its proper 

2. With refpect to the manner in which Pro- 
vidence is exercifed, in the management of things, 
Divines inform us, that it confifts of two acts, 
viz. governing and preferving. Firft. God pre- 
ferves the effence, and faculties of all his crea- 
tures. Acts xvii. 28. In him we live, move, and 
have our being. Pfal. civ. 27. cVc. This much 
might have fufRced* to have been fpoken at a 
Word, on this fubject, had not Divines here ftarted 
various questions. For they do not at all agree, as 
to the manner or method of prefervation. There 
are fome of thern who would have it to confift 
in a new, and perpetual creation, or reproduction, 
if we may fo term it, and a pofitive act of God, 
by which he reproduceth the creatures, every mo- 
ment, without which, they would relapfe into 
none-exiflence. But others are of opinion, that 
there is no neceflity for this new act of God, and 
that it is fufficient, if we but fay, that God cre- 
ated all things by his will, .with the intent that 



Concerning Providence. 135 

they mould continue in that (late of exiflence as 
long as he thought proper, 

But the controverfy is greater with refpecl to 
men, viz. whether their term of life be fatal or 
moveable, i. e. whether the particular time of 
every man's life and death, be fo fixed and deter- 
mined, that it can neither be prolonged, nor con* 
traded ? 

It were to be wimed, that Divines would ab- 
flain from queftions of the like nature, and it were 
fafer to determine nothing with too much preci- 
fion, concerning arguments of this nature. This 
much we may affirm with certainty. Firft. That 
the term of fome men's lives, was immutably fixed 
by God, as Moles. Second. That God by his 
prefcience, doth know, and hath known, the par- 
ticular time of every man's death. Third. That 
the term of man's life is limitted, and confined 
within certain bounds. Job xiv. 5. His days are 
determined, and the number of his months are 
with thee. Fourth. That God at his pleafure may 
deprive man of life. Thefe are certain, and indu- 
bitably true. 

But whether God hath determined the death of 
all, and every particular perfon, is not fo evident. 
Divines think, that it may be proved, from that 
paffaga in Job, xiv. 5. and fome other places in 
Scripture. But others on the contrary, object va- 
rious places in Scripture, for inftance, the promife 
in the fifth commandment. Likewife what is faid, 


t%6 Part I. Chap. II. 

Pfal. lv. 24. Bloody and deceitful men, mall not 
live out half their days, and that King Hezekiarrs 
life was prolonged fifteen years, after his death hid 
teen declared by the Prophet. Ifa. xxxviii. and 
2 Sam. xxiv. 13. Where the option, which was 
granted to David, feems to imply, that the time, 
and manner of the death cf thefe 70,000 perfons, 
who were cut off by the peflilence, was not deter- 
mined ftnce, otherwife, there could have been no 
choice. It is likewife objected, that by thefe 
means we can fcarcely avoid, making God the 
author of fin : For, if he has predetermined the 
death of every one, and if it is to be effected by 
murder, or witchcraft, the manner of his death, 
muft likewife have been appointed : For where the 
«end is abfolutely intended, there the means muft 
likewife be neceffarilv, and abfolutely, intended - 
and determined. The ufe of prudence, temp 
ranee, and remedies, feems likewife to avail but 
little, if God hath prefixed the term of life. If 
any one mould reply, that thefe means of prefer v- 
ing, and of loofing lif b, are likewife determined, 
then nothing remains, but that we mould wait, 
Until God effects within, and without us, whatever 
he hath decreed. 

II. Government is an act of Providence, by 
Avhich he overrules all the creatures, and all events, 
in fuch a manner, as that nothing can happen, but 
what he either wills, or permits to be done. Here 
three particulars are cbfervable. 

1« ThouciC 

Concerting Providence, 137 

1. Though God governs his creatures, yet he 
does not govern them all, after one and the fame 
manner. With refpect to fuch as are irrational, 
he only applies his power -, but to the rational, 
partly his power, and partly laws. I mention his 
power, becaufe, as to life and faculties, they are 
equally depending upon God, as other creatures, 
but as the/ are rational, he rules them by laws : 
and in order to induce them to obierve thefe laws, 
he propofes both promifes and threatnings, and at 
length will pafs fentence upon them, whether they 
be good, or whether they be evil. 

But here, an important queftion is propofed, 
concerning the concourfe or operation of God, 
with refpeel to the actions of his creatures. Some 
Divines divide this concourfe, into fimultaneouB, 
by which God acts along with the creatures, fo 
that he acts on his part, and the creatures on 
their's •, and previous, or determining, by which he 
acts immediately in the creatures, and by the crea- 
tures, fo that the creatures act, becaufe God deter- 
mines them, or rather acts within them •, and fome 
of them urge this concourfe* or phyfical predeter- 
mination fo far, as even to extend it to evil acti- 
ons ; which opinion we reject, as being harm, and 
as it conftitutes God, the author of fin. But there 
is no reafon why we mould be folicitous concern- 
ing this queftion, it is fufficient if we believe. 
Firft. That the creatures act by powers granted 
them by God, which he may deprive them of at 
pleafure. Second. That God fo concurs with the 
actions of J^en, by his grace, both external and 
L internal, 

12* Part I. Chap. II. 

internal, as that they can do nothing truely good 
without it. 

2. It is to be obferved, that God overrules the 
world in fuch a manner, that nothing can happen, 
but what he hath decreed to do himfelf, or per- 
mit to be done ; for there are fome events, which 
God himfelf effects, and there are others which he 
only permits, and thefe are equally fubject unto 
Providence, as appears from what we are to obferve 

3. All things are directed by God, towards 
that end, which he hath propofed to himfelf, and 
that moft wifely. But fince his Providence is 
chiefly concerned about mankind, whom he hath 
formed after his own image. It is quite clear that 
the whole of the Divine adminiftration tends prin- 
cipally to promote both their temporal felicity; viz. 
the prefervation of their lives, and fociety with each 
other, and their eternal falvation : For whoever will 
but attentively weigh tl>e fcope of Divine Provi- 
dence, muft acknowledge, that he is moft benevolent 
towards mankind, and that he confults their happi- 
nefs, in all his proceedings. 

But we come now to treat of the Providence 
of God, as it has a refpect unto fin, the difcuflion 
of which queftion, will be attended with fome 
more difficulty •, for, as on the one hand, we mull 
be under the ftricteft guard, left God fhould bft 
reprcfented the author of fin, fo, on the other, we 
mould be cautious, left it fhould be totally remov- 

Concerning Providence. 139 

ed, from under the difpofal of his Providence. 
Thefe two particulars here, claim our clofeft at- 
tention. In the firft place, then, this ought to be 
laid down, as a principle of indubitable truth, and 
foundation of all religion, that God is not the au- 
thor of fin. God neither wills, nor commits fin, 
otherwife, he would be neither holy, good, nor 
juft. See Pf v. 5. Thou art not God, which 
hath pleafure in wickednefs, neither mail evil 
dwell with thee. Jam. i. 13. Let no man fay when 
he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God can- 
not be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he 
any man, &c. And this indeed, is acknowledged 
by all divines. Yet there have been fome among 
them, and there are fome to be found at prefenty 
who afcribe unto God an efficacious Providence, 
with refpecl: to fin, and who, in order to defend 
their opinion, produce various texts of Scripture* 
which feem to refer evil actions unto God, his will 
and operation. As 1 Sam. ii. 25. Where it is faid, 
that the fons of Heli, would not hearken unto 
their father, becaufe the Lord would flay them. 
Prov. xvi. 4. The Lord hath made all things for 
himfelf, yea, even the wicked for the day of eviL 
Exod. vii. 3. Concerning the hardening of Pha- 
raoh. 2 Sam. xii. II, Concerning David's wives, 
being delivered unto Abfalom. And xvi. 1 1 . 
Concerning Shimea curfing David. Ifa. vi. 9. 10, 
Hear ye, but underftand not. With refpecl: to 
which paffages, we may obferve in general, that 
*to conftitute God the author of fin, or its caufe, 
h a thing fo deteftable and blafphemous, that it 
were better, if thefe places cannot be expounded 
L a to 

140 Part I. Chap. II. 

to advantage? to acknowledge, that there is fome- 
thing in them, which we do not comprehend, or 
even to affix to them a different meaning, than to 
fall into that abominable opinion, that God either 
wills, commands, or effects fin. But it is not dif- 
ficult fo to interpret thefe paflages, that no fuch 
thing might be concluded. To bring thefe parti- 
cular paflages to clofe, examination would be tedi- 
ous. It will be fufficient, to attend to the follow- 
ing rules, by which thefe, or texts of a like na- 
ture may be expounded. Firft. Firft of all, it 
ought to be well obferved, whether their tranflati- 
on be accurate, as for example, i Sam. ii. 25. 
This text, as it is read in feme of the Latin, and 
French Bibles, feems openly to declare, that God 
willed, that the fons of Heli mould fin, and die, 
becaufe, the Hebrew particle is rendered (becaufe) 
but if it were tranilated, therefore, or for this 
caufe, the fenfe would be plain, viz. that the fons 
of Heli were diibbedient, and therefore, it was 
the will of God, that they mould die. This is 
the more to be obferved, becaufe fome of thofe, 
who were the authors of thefe verfions, were ad- 
dicted to rigid, and harm hypothefes and opinions, 
to which they meant to accommodate the Sacred 
Scripture. Second. Many portions of Scripture, 
feem to treat of fin, when it is not at all intended, 
as Prov. xvi. 4. The (tnih is, that God hath ap- 
pointed calamity and punifhment, for the wicked. 
Third. Many places feem to afcribe action to 
God, with refpect to fin, where he is not at all 
mentioned, as 2 Sam. xxiv. 1. Where it is faid, 
that he moved David, by faying, Go number the 


Concerning Providence. 14.1 

people, Thefe paflages are to be underftood im- 
perfonally, or, as relating to men, or the Devil. 
Thus, Ifa. vi. 8. 9. 10. Harden the heart of this 
people, &c. Here the certainty of the event pre- 
dicted by the Prophet is denoted, and that hard.- 
nefs, of which the people was the caufe ; but it 
does not fignify, that either God or the Prophet 
hardened them, fo that the meaning is, that the 
heart of this people is hardened, which is invinci- 
bly demonftrated, from Mat. xiii. 14. where that 
paftage is cited, in the very knfc we have men- 
tioned. In thefe places, the certainty and occa- 
fion of the event is denoted, but not the cauie. 
Thus, from that faying of Chrift, Matt. x. 34. 
one might erroneoufly conclude, that he came tc* 
promote war among men. Fourth. Such places 
as fpealc of God, ought to be underftood of his 
permiflion, as 1 Kings xxiv. 2*2. 23. Concerning 
the lying fpirit, fent into the mouth of the falfe 
Prophets. But, that this ought not to be afcribed 
to the action of God, is evident, Pf. xix. 8. The 
teftimony of the Lord is fure. And xxv. 5. Alfo, 
2 Thef. ii. 5. Or if any thing be underftood 
more, than a meer permiiTion, and action be 
afcribed to God. With refpect to fin, it muft be, 
that God permits the occafions or. objects of fin to 
be offered, which the finner abufeth to his own 
guilt. Thus, 2 Sam. xii. 2. And xvi. 2. The 
meaning is, that God being angry with David, 
delivered up his houfe and wives unto Abfalom \ 
and that he was brought to fuch a pafs by the juft 
judgment of God, as to give occafion to Shimea's 
malediction. Pharaoh was hardened, becaufe God 
L 3 permitted 

142 Part I. Chap. II. 

permitted the Magicians, Tome how or other, to 
imitate the miracles of Mofes. As likewife, be- 
caufc he fent plagues of a lower degree, which 
ceafed at the prayers of Mofes. This much, in- 
deed v\ as done by God, in order that he might 
fliew the malicioufnefs of Pharaoh, and his own 
juftice, and power. Exod. ix. 15. 16. But that 
thefe words, I will harden Pharaoh's heart, ought 
not to be urged, is evident, from Pharaoh being 
faid, to have hardened himfelf, or to have been 
hardened. Chap. viii. 32. And vii. 16. To con- 
clude, we thus argue, either the King of Egypt 
was hardened without God being the author of this 
hardnefs, or he was not. If the former be allowed, 
then the action of God, was fuperfluous and ufelefs. 
If the latter, then Pharaoh was not fo wretched, 
and hardened, and God only muft have been 
the caufe ofhardneTs, and of the people being de* 

II. But though God be not the author of fin, 
neither does he efficacioufly procure it, yet it is 
ilill fubject to Divine Providence, and that in a 
threefold refpecl, viz. he permits, determines, and 
directs it. lie permits it, not by a moral permif- 
iion, as if he approved of it, but phyfical, by which 
he fuffers it to be committed, this may be con- 
ceived, In the following manner. In order that a 
man may be in a capacity for action, three things 
are requilite. Firft. That he mould be pofTtfled 
of powers and faculties. Second. That the objects, 
and occafions of action, mould be offered him. 
Third, A wilhn^nefs to act. The firft and fecond 


Concerning Frovidenct. 143 

of thefe depend upon God, but the third upon 
man. But, in as much as God hath granted pow- 
ers, and faculties to man, and preferves and up- 
holds them, and fuffers their objects to be prefent- 
ed to them •, this he does juftly and wifely, nay, 
neceiTarily, becaufe, otherwife human nature would 
be overturned, the order of the world diiturbed, and 
human obedience never brought to the ted. But 
though he permits fin, yet he impofes no neceffity 
of finning upon men, nay, he reftrains them from 
finning, by various methods, fo that fin mull proceed 
from man. 

Many Divines make ufe of the following di- 
ftinction, with refpect to fin, viz. They diftinguifh 
between the action itfelf, and its criminality, or, 
between its materiality, and formality, and fay, 
that the action itfelf proceeds from God, but its 
criminality from man. But, Firft. Though there 
are actions, in which thefe two may be diltingui fried , 
as giving alms through vain glory, yet, this di- 
ftinction is of no ufe here, becaufe the criminality 
does not confift in the external action, by which I 
give alms, but in the manner, or intention of giv- 
ing. But, as we are now treating of the Provi- 
dence of God, with refpect to fin, actions are not 
confidered materially, but formally, i. e. not as 
acts fimply, but as vicious acts ; and the queftion 
is, whether fuch acts have God as their author I 
Thus, in the example juft now produced, the que- 
ftion is not, whether God be the author of the ex- 
ternal action, by which I give money to the poor, 
for the controverfy does not turn upon this •, but, 


i44 ?&* i* cha p- n. 

whether he concurs with that act of the mind by 
which I give alms through pride, or vain glory, 
for it is the latter only, that the eflence of the 
fin confirls. Befides, there are actions, in which 
the action itfelf cannot be diftinguifhed from its 
criminality, for inftance, hatred againft our neigh- 
bours, and fins of omiflion. So that all circumftan- 
ces being maturely weighed, it is beft to conclude, 
that the faculty and objects proceed from God, but 
the action from man. Neither, for that reafon, is 
man exempted from the dominion of God, fince he ^ 
derives his powers from him, which he may deprive-'* 
him of at pleafure. 

2. God determines fin, and fets bounds to the 
fmner, fo that he cannot fir, i'ooner or later, or more, 
than he permits •, and befides, he reilrains evil 
doers, by various methods. 

3. The Providence of God is confpicuous in 
this, that he directs fins, and fometimes employs 
fmners, whilft they themfeives are ignorant of it, 
and intend the contrary, in accomplifhing fome 
end, which he himfelf had propofed. This ia 
abundantly evident, from the example of the Par. 
triarch Jofeph. 

The principal ufes of this doctrine are, Firft, 
Attentively, and daily, to contemplate the worki 
of Divine Providence, which furround us on all 
hands, in Nature, in the Heavens, in the World, 
in civil fociety, &c. Second. Love, and grateful 
afie&ipns towards God, whofe Providence is deep- 


Upon Sin. 145 

ly concerned obout us, and loads us with innume- 
rable benefits. Third. Reverence of the Divine 
JVi Je;ly, an awful dread of future judgment, and 
fincerc obedience. Fourth. Prayers and reliance. 
For fince all things depend upon God, it is our du- 
ty to reft upon him, and to have recourfe unto 
for fafety and protection. Matt. vi. 25. 26. 
Submiflion to the Divine will, who rules .the 
erfe according to fupreme wifdom •> but efpe-. 
ciaily, patience in adverfity. 

Chap. III. 

Of Sin. 

A FTER our treatife upon Providence, we are 
A\. next to treat of Sin. For the whole of the 
Divine administration fuppofes mankind to be in a 
(late of Sin, and Religion is the remedy againft 
fin. Therefore, we find, that the hiftory of the 
creation is immediately fucceeded, in Genefis, by 
the hiftory of Adam's fall. As this is the cafe, it 
would be of no utility to difpute, as fome Divines 
do, concerning the ftate in which Adam would 
have been, had he not fallen. Here four things 
are to be considered, viz. the nature of Sin, its 
origin, puniihment, and laftly, its various divi- 

I. Sim is a voluntary action, committed againft 
law. I fay, an action, whether external, or inter- 
nal, voluntary Cfor where the action is involuntary, 
there can be no room for either virtue or vice) 
committed againft law. 1 John 3 iii. 4. Sin is the 


146 Pari I. C%>. III. 

tranfgreflion of the law. For if there were no law, 
Sin could not be imputed. Rom. v. 13. But by 
law, here, we underftand, either the law of nature, 
or revelation. Rom. ii. 14. 

But, with refpecl: to the nature of Sin, it is of 
the greatefl confequence to obferve, that men do 
not fin againft God, fo as to injure him, or that his 
beatitude could fufTer any diminution thereby. 
They, indeed, offer violence againft the Divine 
authority, but are injurious only to themfelves. 
Job xxii. 2. 3. 4. Can a man be profitable unto 
God ? Is it any pleafure to the Almighty, that 
thou art 'righteous ? Or, is it gain to him, that 
thou makeft thyfelf perfect, &c. And, xxxv. 6. 
7. 8. Prov. viii. 36. He that finneth againft me, 
wrongeth his own foul ; all they that hate me, 
love death. Jer. vii. 19. Do they provoke me to 
anger, faith the Lord, do they not provoke them- 
felves, to the confufion of their own faces. And, 
xliv. 7. &c. 

IL Concerning the origin of Sin, we have al- 
ready obferved, that God is not its author, fince 
he hath created man upright, and endowed him 
with liberty. Therefore, the will of man muft be 
the real caufe of Sin. The hiftory of Adam's fall 
is related, Gen. iii. With refpecl to which, the 
following particulars merit our attention. Firft. 
That the Devil had revolted from God, previous 
to the fall of man. Second. That God had pre- 
fer ib e d a law to Adam, for if he had been fubjecl 
to no law, he could not have acknowledged his 


Upon Sin, 147 

fubje&ion unto God, and might have imagined 
that he had been created for no other purpofe, but 
that he might enjoy the creatures. But God gave 
him a pofttive law, prohibiting his eating the fruit 
of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, fuch 
a law being entirely adapted to his prefent cir- 
cumftances. For, the laws which are compre- 
hended in the Decalogue, could not at that time 
take place. This law he corroborated, with the 
threatning of death, which threatning, likewife, 
contained in it a promife of life ; for man, being a 
free creature, could not be bound to obedience, 
otherwife, than by promifes and threatnings. 
Third. Adam and Eve linned freely, and volunta- 
rilv, being deceived by the Devil, and their own 
luft. Gen. iii. 6. 4. Adam, by finning, became 
obnoxious to various miferies, efpecially death. 
Gen. iii. 17. 19. Neither did he injure himfelf 
alone, but likewife his pofterity, whom he alfo ren- 
dered obnoxious to fin and death. Rom. v. 12. 
As by one man fin entered into the world, and death 
by fin, fo death pafled upon all men, for that all 
have finned. 

Inquiry is ufually made here, concerning the 
propagation of Sin, how it is effected, which quef- 
tion is, indeed, obfcure, and of little confequence. 
This much is certain, from the univerfal fenfe, and 
experience of mankind, as likewife, from the Word 
of God, that men are prone to Sin, and mortal, 
which might fuffice. Yet, that opinion looks moil 
probable, which makes Sin to be propagated by 
the bociy, which contaminates the foul. And this 


14* Part I, Chap. III. 

may be proved from Scripture, which afcribes the 
fountain of Sin to the body, and the flefh •, and 
therefore exhorts us, to fubdue the flefh. Gal. v. 
1 6. &c. i Pet. ii. 2. Dearly beloved, I befeech 
you, as Grangers, and pilgrims, to abftain from 
flefhly lufts, which war againtt the fpirit. 

III. With refpect to the punifhment of Sin, 
Divines ufually divide it into a threefold death, 
viz. fpiritual (or corruption) temporal, and eter- 
nal ; but corruption, or depravation, accurately 
fpeaking, is not the punifhment, but the confe- 
quence of Sin. This we obferve, againft fuch as 
affirm that God punimes fins, by fins, fo that 
men fall into other fins, as a punifhment for 
thofe, which they had previoufly committed. The 
punimment, therefore, of Sin, confifts in endur» 
ing that evil and forrow, which the finner hath 
brought upon himfelf, which evil is, indeed, two- 
fold, either of this, or a future life. Tempo- 
ral punifhments are the miferies of this life, and 
death. Gen. iii. 17. Yet, it ought to be obferv- 
ed, that, properly fpeaking, thefe are not the 
principal punimments of Sin, for by the evils of 
this life, God calls men to repentance, neither 
does he act as judge before death. Therefore the 
real punifhments of fin, are thofe of a future life, 
viz. a feparation from God, and a (late of the 
moft exquifite mifery, which feparation is the na- 
tural and necefTary confequence of Sin, for man 
merely by his being a finner, feparates and alie- 
nates himfelf from God, who is the chief good, fo 
that he muft be in a moft wretched condition. 


Upon Sin. 149 

Yet we are not to underftand fuch a neceffity, as 
would exclude man, having once fallen into Sin, 
from all hopes of pardon ; this is evident, becaufe 
God himfelf* immediately after the fall, allowed 
Adam to entertain hopes of permiflion. Gen. 
iii. 15. 

IV. What now remains, are the diviiions of 
Sin. And, firft, it is divided into original, and 
actual, which distinction was invented by Au* 

The Scholafticks again, divide Original Sin, into 
imputed and inherent. The former is that Sin of 
Adam, which is imputed to all his pofterity, in 
fuch a manner indeed, that all men have finned 
in Adam, and on account of his Sin, bocome ob- 
noxious to eternal death, which imputation many 
reject. Ezek. xviii. 20. The foul that finneth, it 
fliall die. Gal. vi. 5. Every one fhall bear his 
own burden. There are fome who divide impu- 
tation, into antecedent, by which the Sin of Adam 
is immediately imputed to his pofterity, without 
any refpect being had to their own corruption 5 
and confequent, by which God imputes this Sin 
unto them, on account of their own corruption, 
viz. becaufe they love Sin, and thus approve of 
Adam's tranfgreflion. But this diftinction is ab- 
furd, and of no utility, fince this confequent impu- 
tation, is liable almoft to the fame difficulties, as 
that which is antecedent. 


ISO Parti. Chap. IIL 

Original Sin inherent, is that depravity of 
nature, which is to be found in all men, even 
from their birth, and which renders them Co prone 
to Sin, that without the interpofition of Divine 
grace, they muft ftill be under its dominion. 
This natural depravity, is proved from Sacred 
Scripture, John iii. 6. That which is born of the 
flefh, is fiefri. Pf. li. 5. Behold, I was fhapen in 
iniquity, and in fin did my mother conceive me. 
We might add to thefe, a variety of other pafTa- 
ges, which treat of the univerfal depravity of 
mankind, and the neceflity of Divine grace. It 
may be likewife proved from reafon, for fince all 
men are finners, there muft be fome common prin- 
ciple of Sin, in the nature of man, which difcovers 
itfelf, even from his infancy. From this natural 
depravity, none is free but Chrift. Yet the 
Church of Rome maintains the immaculate con- 
ception of the Blefled Virgin, and there has been 
a very warm conteft concerning this matter, be- 
tween the Dominicans, and Francifcans, the latter 
afTerting, that the Virgin was conceived without 
Sin. This controverfy was decided by Pope Alex- 
ander VII. A. D. 1 66 1. Who eftabliihed by a de- 
cree, the immaculate conception. 

Actual Sin, is that which we commit know- 
ingly, and freely : There are fome who aflert, 
that Sin has nothing pofitive in its nature, but 
that it is a mere privation, or nonentity •, but that 
is very abfurd, for certainly it is of a nature very 
pofitive, and real. 


Upon 1. 1.. 151 

The three •following particulars conftitute Sin, 
viz. If the action oppofes the dictate of confci- 
ence •, if it recedes from the rule, or law ; or is 
done for a bad end : If all thefe three, or only 
one, or either of them, be found in any action, it 
muft be evil. 

Again, actual Sin is variously divided, with 
refpect to the action itfelf, its object, manner, and 

I. With refpect to the action, fins of commif- 
fion differ from (ins of omiffion. The former con- 
firms in the commiflion of an action, prohibited by 
God •, the latter is v/hen we omit the performance 
of a duty prefcribed. But though fins of com- 
miflion be more grievous, yet fins of omiffion arc 
real fins, and deftructive, 

II. With refpect to the object, Sin is committed 
either againft God, againft mankind, or ourfelves : 
And indeed ail fins are committed againft God, 
fince whoever fins, violates the Law and Majefty 
of God. Yet there are certain fins, which direct- 
ly, and immediately do flrike at God, and his 
glory, as Atheifm, Impiety, Idolatry, Perjury, 
and the Contempt of Religion, which are moft 

III. With refpect to the manner men fin, Firft. 
Either in thought, word, or deed. Second. Or 
through ignorance, as when the perfon who fins, 
is ignorant of his duty \ or through inattention, as 


i$2 Part I. Chap. III. 

when he is negligent, as to his duty ; and againft 
confcience, as when a perfon cffends againft the 
feelings, and admonitions of confcience. Thefe* 
who fin through ignorance are thought lefs guilty, 
if the ignorance is invincible, it excufes entirely, 
if vincible, it excufes in part. Thofe who fin 
through inattention are thought to be more guilty, 
but fuch as fin againft confcience, offend moft 
grievoufly. Third. There is a difference be- 
tween fins, which proceed from infirmity, and 
fuch as proceed from malice. Sin is committed 
through malice, when we offend knowingly, and 
after a conteft •, as alfo, when we commit fins of a 
more grievous nature, which cannot confift with 
piety. Fourth. There are fins which may be 
termed reigning, and not reigning. A reigning 
fin is when a man indulges vice, and fins' with a 
habit of impenitence. Rom. vi. 12. Let not Sin 
reign in your mortal body, that you mould obey 
it in the lufts thereof. Not reigning, fuch are the 
fins of godly men, or penitent tinners. Let thefe 
fu£ke, being fpoken in few words, concerning the 
divifions of Sin. 

IV. With refpecl to punifriment, there is a ce- 
leb: ated divifion of Sin, into venial, and moral*, 
which ought to be rejected, if the meaning is, 
that there are any fins which do not merit punifh- 
ment. But it may be applied in a right fenfe, if 
by it we are to underftand, that there are fome 
fins, which, according to the Evangelical Cove- 

Upon S. 153 

hint, through the mercy of God mall not be pun- 
imed, fuch are fins which proceed from infirmity. 

Besides, Sin is divided, into remiffibie, and 
irremifTible, or the Sin againft the Holy Ghoft, 
But Divines differ, in explaining the nature of this 
Sin ; fome afiert, that it confifts in apoftacy, at- 
tended with a deteftation of the truth when 
known, and oppofition to it, and all this contrary 
to confcience, and from deliberate malice. Others 
affirm, that it confifts in final impenitence, and 
others in difpair ♦, but thefe things -are uncertain, 
obfcure, End of no utility. They are uncertain, 
fince it can fcarcely be defined, wherein this Sin 
confifts, for neither apoftates, nor fuch as fin 
through deliberate malice, or perfecute the truth, 
can be faid to fin irremiflibly. Unprofitable, as 
this doctrine can be of no ufe, nor can it be ap- 
plied to any man. All Divines acknowledge, that 
no perfon ought to believe, that he has been guilty 
of this fin, as alfo that it ought not to be faid of 
any one, that he has been- guilty of it. Wherein 
then does the utility of this doctrine confift. 

Indeed there are ufually three paffages of 
Scripture, quoted with refpect to it, viz. Matt. 
xiv. 32. Whoever mail fpeak a word againft the 
Holy Ghoft, it mail not be forgiven him, neither 
in this world, nor in the world to come. Heb. vi. 
4- 5. 6". And x. 26. 1 John v. 16. There is a fin 
unto death, I do not fay that ye fhall pray for it. 
And Divines are of opinion, that the fin againft 
the Holy Ghoft, is mentioned in all thefe three 
M different 

154 Part I. Chap. III. 

different places, but indeed they are miftaken, for 
certainly three different fpecies of Sin are denoted 
in them. Firft. Matt. xii. 32. Chrift does not 
fpeak here concerning Sin, but blafphemy, or a 
word againft the Holy Ghoft. But this biafphe- 
my was the Sin of the Pharifees, who attributed 
to the Devil, the miracles which were wought by 
our Lord, through the power of the Holy Ghoft. 
See Mark iii. 30. For they faid, he hath an impure 
fpirit. Which blafphemy was indeed fo attro- 
cious, that it could not be remitted, becaufe it 
proceeded from defperate malice, and was accom- 
panied with impenitence, for there was no me- 
thod now remaining, by which Chrift could break 
the malice or incredulity of the Pharifees. Se- 
cond. Thefe paffages are adduced, Heb. vi. 4. 6. 
And x. 26. but they evidently treat of apoftates. 
The third paffage is, 1 John v. 16. The meaning 
of which is, that prayers were in vain offered up, 
in behalf of fuch as had finned unto death, i. e. fuch 
as God had decreed, fhould be punifhed, with 
temporal death, for John treats here of the effica- 
cy of prayer. Men of learning have acted with 
little prudence, who have treated of the fin againft 
the Holy Ghoft, in their fermons or writings. For 
many perfons, either through melancholy, or fome 
other caufe, when hearing or reading fuch things, 
have almoft fcdlcn into defpair, imagining that they 
had finned irremiffibly. 

The ufb of this doctrine concerning Sin, are, 
Firft. That horror and averfion, which we ought 
to feel within us, whenever we reflect upon its 


Upon Sin. 155 

nature. It being In itfelf, vile, unjuft, detefted by 
God, and noxious unto men. 

2. From what has been faid, with refpect to the 
origin of Sin. viz. that it has man, and not God for 
its author, it follows, that God is juft and holy, and 
that man is guilty, and worthy of punimment. 
That the caufe of fin, is to be found in man alone, 
is evident, not only from thehiftory of Adam's fall, 
but likewife from our own experience. For we Sin 
in the fame manner as Adam did, viz. againft the 
Divine Law, voluntarily, and being feduced by our 
own lufts. 

3. From what has been faid, concerning the 
punimment of /in, we learn, in what fenfe tempo- 
ral evils are, and are not the punifhments of fin. 
Properly fpeaking, God does not by them, punifh 
the miner, but ufes them as means to promote our 
good, viz. that we might avoid its real punifh- 
ments. Hence appears the wifdom, and good- 
nefs of God, who, from the confequences of Sin, 
prepares a remedy againft it. As alfo, the nature 
of our duty in adverfity, viz. to make off the domi- 
nion of Sin, and to fubmit ourfelves unto God. 
The punifhments of a future life, are moft to be 
dreaded, as being moft grievous, and moft cer- 

The divisions of Sin, are of fignal ufe, as for in- 

flance, the doctrine of Original Sin informs us, 

Firft. How great the mifery of mankind would 

have been, if Chrift had not come into the world. 

M 2 Second. 

t$6 Pari I. Chap. III. 

Second. Of how great confequence the pious ed 
cation of children mud be, in furnifhing them 
with a remedy, againil this native depravity, (o 
that they might be maturely imbued, with the 
knowledge and fear of God, and the fewel of car- 
nal concupifcence, be extjnguifiied within them,» 
left they ihould become the childlren of Hell. 
Third. We ought alfo to Beware, left this original 
depravity, which has its feat in the flefh, (hould 
contaminate ourfelves. The other di : of 

Sin, maybe propounded to the people, with great 
advantage, who for the mod: part, pay but little 
attention to them, the mdft of men think but 
little of fins of omiiMon, or fuch as are committed, 
©nly in thought. They fcarcely make any dif- 
ference between fins, which proceed from malice, 
and from ignorance, as likewife between fins reign- 
ing, and fuch as do not reign. Few have either 
known, or think how dangerous a thing, a habit 
of finning muft be, therefore, it muft be of great 
moment, rightly to underftand, and duly to propofe 
this dcelrine to the people. 

C K A P. IV. 

Concerning the Decrees of God, rejpcling Man'j Sal- 

ORDER now requires, that we mould confi- 
de r the manner, in which God hath con- 
dueled himielf towards mankind, having fallen in- 
to fin. And therefore fome things muft be pre* 
mifed, concerning the Decrees of God, or his will, 


Upon the Decrees. 157 

fpecting man's falvation, which mull be done with 
caution, and according to Scripture. In the fir it 
place, we (hall treat of the Divine decrees in gen- 
eral, and fecondly, in particular. 

I. A Decree is an ad of the Divine will, by 
which he hath determined to do fomething. The 
decrees of God are eternal, or made before the 
world was created. Eph. 1. 4. According as he 
hath chofen us, before the foundation of the world. 
For we cannot conceive a time, in which God was 
ignorant of what he intended to do. Acts xi. i&. 
They are free. Eph. i. 5. 9. Having predeftinated 
us,, unto the adoption of children, by Jefus Chrifl, 
unto himfelf, according to the good pieafure of his 
will •, and unfearchabie. Rom. xi. 33. O the 
depth of the riches, both of the wifdorn and know.- 
ledge of God, how unfearchabie are his judgments, 
and his ways paft finding out. So that they cannot: 
be known, but by Divine Revelation, and their 

The queftion is here aiked, whether there be con- 
ditional decrees, which queilion may be anfwered s 
without any trouble. For if by decree, we iia- 
derftand, an act of the divine will, by which he 
hath decreed, to do a thing adfolutely, that de- 
cree is abfolute, and if it -depends upon any con- 
dition, God will accomplim it. But if we under- 
hand the divine will, by which he hath decreed to 
dp any thing under a condition, to be performed 
by a free creature. That decree may be called 
conditional, though in a certain knfQ, it is abfo- 
M 3 

158 Parti. Chap. IV. 

lute, fince let the creature conduct itfelf as it will, 
whatever God hath decreed, mail certainly come to 

II. Decrees being confidered particularly, have 
a reipect unto men, efpecially their falvation. As 
to other decrees, for inftance, concerning the An- 
gels, it would be ram to inquire. Here a twofold 
decree is given, the one relating to the fending of 
Chrift into the world, the other, to the falvation, 
or damnation of men. 

The firft decree relates to the Advent of Chrift, 
for he did not come into the world fortuitoufly, 
but by virtue of the Father's decree, who had de- 
creed to fend his Son, even before the creation of 
the world. This, the Scriptures both of the Old 
and New Teftament, every where teach. Gen. 
iii. 15. The feed of the woman mall bruife thy 
head. Eph. i. 5. 1 Pet. i. 20. Where Chrift is 
faid to have fore-ordained, before the foundation 
of the world, and made manifeft in the laft times. 
We may add to tiiefe, all the predictions of the 

The latter decree refpects, either people of a 
particular denomination, or every particular perfon. 
Firft. God hath decreed, to reveal himfelf to a cer- 
tain people, having for very juft reafons, parted by 
others. Thus he elected the people of Ifrael. Deut. 
xxii. 8. And ver. 7. And Paul to the Rom. ix. x. xi. 
mews, that God might elect the Gentiles, having 
rejected the Jews. And that decree, concerning 


Upon the Decrees. 159 

the calling of the Gentiles, is that great myftery, 
concerning which, Eph. i. 9. And iii. 56. In like 
manner, he hath decreed, to rc-afume the Jews into 
his covenant. Rom. xi. 25. 

The decree concerning the falvation of every 
particular perlon, is not explained by Divines, 
after the fame manner, fome of them defending an 
abiblute, whilft others maintain a conditional pre^- 

Augustine, and after him fome of the Fa- 
thers, maintained the former opinion, which like- 
wife has been embraced, by mod of the teachers 
belonging to the reformed Church, and they de- 
iine Predeftination, an act of the Divine will, by 
which he hath decreed, infallibly to conduct cer- 
tain men to falvation, by working faith in them 
irrefiftibly, the reft being excluded, or at leaft, 
parted by. This decree confifts of two parts, viz. 
Election, and Reprobation \ but in explaining the 
nature of it, and afTigning the order of decrees, 
Divines have fplit into various parties. Various 
are the methods and hypothecs of Supralapfarians, 
Infralapfariaris, as likewife of the Univerfalifts, and 
Particulars, concerning which, though it were 
better to be entirely filent, yet fomething muft be 
faid, rather hiflorically, than dogmatically, left 
fludents, in Theology mould be entirely ignorant 
of the matter. 

Those who defend abfolute Predeftination, 
agree in faying, that God hath elected certain 


i6o Part I. Chap. IV, 

men, upon whom alone he hath decreed to confer 
falvation, the reft being excluded. And they prove 
this from Rom. ix. but they differ in arligning the 
order of the decrees. 

The Supralapfarians teach, that God hath de- 
creed to mamfeft his glory, by the exercife of his 
mercy and juftice, in the falvation of certain men, 
and the condemnation of others, and that for this 
end, he hath decreed, Firft. To create the World. 
Second. To permit the Fall. Third, To deliver 
up Chrift, for fuch as he had decreed mould be 
faved. Fourth. To produce faith within them. 
They are termed Supralapfarians, becaufe, they 
place Predeftination firft, in the order of ail the 
decrees. They tell us, that its object is man not 
yet fallen. Of which doctrine Beza was patron, 
and after him GcmaruS; The order of the de- 
crees, according to them, is as follows. Firft. The 
decree, concerning the rnanifeftation of the Divine 
mercy and juftice, as likewife, the falvation of cer- 
tain men, and the condemnation of others. Se- 
cond. Concerning; the Creation. Third. Concern- 
irfg the Fall, not only being permitted, but as 
others would have it, procured by the fubtraction 
of grace. Fourth. Concerning the fending of 
Chrift. Fifth. Concerning the production of faith 
in the elect. 

The Infralapfarians place the decree of Prede- 
fti lation after the Fall, and teach, that its object 
i fallen man, i. e. that God elected, out of hlkn 
rn:n, whom he thought proper, having reprobated 


Upon the Decrees. 16 1 

others. But theft, again, differ among themfelves ; 
fomc contend, that the object of Predeftination is, 
man fallen in Adam, and that God delivered up 
his Son for the elect. But others would have the 
object of Predeftination to be man, not only fallen, 
but in a flate of unbelief, i. e. that God, after de- 
creeing to deliver up his Son for all men, being 
tinners, when he forefaw, that none of them would 
believe, on account of their natural depravity, out 
of his meer good pleafure, elected fome, and pro- 
duced faith within them, having paffed by others. 
The former are termed Particularifts, becaufe they 
would have it, that Chrift died for the elect only, 
and difpofe of the decrees in the following man- 
ner. Firft. Creation. Second. The Fall. Third. 
Election. Fourth. The miffion of Chrift. But the 
latter are called Univerfallifts, becaufe they hold, 
that Chrift died for all *, and in arranging the de- 
crees, obferve the following method, Firft. Crea- 
tion. Second. The Fall. Third. The miffion of 
Chrift. And, Fourth. Election. So that both par- 
ties are agreed in this, that the distinction between 
thofe who are to be fkved, and fuch as will be 
damned, muft entirely depend on the election of 
God, and his good pleafure. As likewife, that 
faith is irrefiftibly produced, in the elect, fo that 
they cannot fall mort of falvation - 9 whereas the re- 
probates muft neceflkrily remain in unbelief. But 
they only differ in this, the Particularifts maintain, 
that the decree of election precedes the decree 
concerning the fending of Chrift. But the Uni- 
verfaliifts affert, that the decree, concerning the 
fending of Chrift for all men, was prior to the de- 

i62 Part I. Chap. IV. 

cree of Election ; but truly, the difference between 
both is but trifling, and very fmall ; fo that it is 
marvellous how this fruitlefs controverfy came to 
be tofTed about, with fo much warmnefs of temper. 
Divines alfo differ fdmething in explaining tfee na- 
ture of Reprobation : For fome aiTert that it is a 
pofitiveact of God, by which he hath decreed to 
deliver over certain men, to eternal torments : 
But others would have it, to be a negative act, 
and that Reprobation is a deferved preteration> fo 
that whilft God hath elected fome, and tranflated 
them into a ftate of falvation, he hath paffed by 
others, and left them in a ftate of unbelief, and 
condemnation ; but thefe they afTert are condemn- 
ed juftly, on account of their fins, and unbelief,, 
and that damnation is the effect, not of Predefti- 
nation, but of fin, and an act of God, confidered 
as judge, who punilheth them, only as guilty -> but 
others deny this, afcribing Reprobation not to fin, 
but to the Divine pleafure only. And thefe are 
the various hypothefes of our Divines, each of 
which are liable to almoft the fame difficulties. 
It were to be wifhed, that teachers had never at- 
tempted to define the number and order of de- 
crees, being mindful of this faying, Who hath been 
God's counfelior. Rom. xi. 33. Befides, there 
are fome of thefe who maintain abfolute Predefti- 
nation, who would have it to be extended even to 
infants, think that fome of them are deftined for 
eternal falvation, but others for eternal damna- 


Upon the Decrees, 163 

Those, who defend conditional Predeflination, 
under (land it thus. That God hath decreed to 
fave fuch as believe, or whom he forefaw would 
believe, and to condemn unbelievers : So that 
Election, according to them, depends upon fore- 
{qcyi faith, and damnation, on forefeen unbelief. 
Of this opinion were all the Greek Fathers and 
the Eaflern Church, and it is defended by mofl of 
the teachers of the Romifh Church, yet there arc 
fome of them, who, with Auguftine, defend abfo- 
lute 'Predeflination, viz. thofe, who are called 
Janfenifls. Of the Lutherans, fome differ more 
and fome lefs from the reformed, yet they all are 
agreed in this point, viz. that they are mod vigorous 
defenders of uruverfal grace. ' The Arminians, 
or Remonflrants, reject abfolute Predeflination, 
they were condemned by the Synod of Dort. 
A. D. 1618. 

The ufe of this doctrine is. Firft. To judge 
foberly concerning the Divine Decrees, to leave to 
God the things that are hidden, and to acquiefce 
in what he hath revealed, efpecially to walk in his 
ways. Second. To believe, that our falvation 
wholly depends upon God, and that whatever 
good we are pofTed of, mull, be afcribed to this 
grace, and gratuitous election. Eph. i. 5. But 
that unbelief and condemnation proceed from men 
themfelves, and not from God. Third. If we 
would defire to know whether we be of the num- 
ber of thofe, who are to be faved, or damned, 
let us turn our attention towards ourfelf, and ex- 
amine clofely, our confeiences, and our lives, ac- 

164 Part I. Cbap. V. 

cording to the doctrine of the Gofpel, which is the 
doctrine of faith, and repentance, this is the fafeft 
way to falvation, if according to Peter's admo- 
nition, we endeavour to make our calling, and 
election fare, For if we do thefe things, we fhali 
never fall, and an entrance fhali be adminiftred 
unto us abundantly into the everlafting kingdom, 
of our Lord and Saviour Jefus Chrift. 2 Pet. u 
jo. 11. 

Chap. V. 

Concerning the Antediluvian Times. 

HAVING premifed the doctrine of Divine 
decrees, we have now to fee, what the ftate 
of the world was, previous to the Advent of Chrift, 
and here, in the firft place, the Antediluvian period 
occurs, concerning which, the three following par- 
ticulars merit our obfervation. Firft. The religi- 
on of that time. Second. The depravation of 
men. Third. The Deluge. 

I. With refpect to the firft of thefe heads, two 
particulars ought to be considered. Firft. What the 
religion of thofe primitive times was. It had its 
articles of faith, its precepts, promifes, threatnings, 
and confided principally of the following doc- 
trines. That God exifted, that the world was 
created by him, and governed by his Providence ; 
that there was a difference between moral good, 
and evil j Divine worfhip, prayers, thankfgivings, 
that facrifices were to be offered with pious affec- 
tions j 

Upon the Antediluvian "times. 165 

tions •, that injuries fhould be offered to none, tliat 
God was the judge of the world, who would reward 
the pious, and punifh th^ wicked. Each of which 
may be collected from Gen. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. efpe- 
cially from the hiftory of the fall of Adam, likewife, 
of Abel and Cain, the life and dtxlh of Enoch, fee 
his Prophecy, Jude v. 14. Second. In that pri- 
meval religion, we find the traces, and feeds of the 
Evangelical Covenant, efpecially in the promife con- 
cerning the blefled feed. Gen. iii. 15. That reli- 
gion was fufrkient to render men acceptable unto 
God, yet we are not to imagine, that thofe ancient 
Patriarchs believed nothing, but what may be col- 
lected from the book of Genefis. 

II. Secondly, we are to confider the corrup- 
tion of mankind in that time. Now, even from 
the time of Enos, Adam's grandfon, the pious po- 
fterity of Seth, was feparated from the impious 
offspring of Cain. Gen. iv. 26. But fome ages 
being elapfed, that depravation alio invaded the 
pcflerity of Seth, and took its rife from a com- 
mixture of both. Gen. vi. 1. 2. So that the firil, 
and principal fin, which introduced that general 
depravity, was impure lufts, and the intermar- 
riages of the fons of Seth with the daughters of 
the pofterity of Cain, who indeed their hufbands, 
and children, to perpetrate the fame crimes, to 
which the pofterity of Cain had been habituated» 
Murder, and injuftice, were other fins which they 
were guilty of. Gen. vi. 2. Concerning this, leC 
Jofephus be confulted, B. 1. Ch. 3. Laflly, fmce 
Impure lufts, and fraud, carry along with them in- 

166 Parti. Chap. V. 

numerable vices, it is eafy to conceive, how great 
the perverfity of men muft have been in thofe 

III. Corruption thus prevailing every day, 
God decreed to overthrow the whole race of man- 
kind, by a flood, left that religion mould be total- 
ly loft among them. But, previous to the fending 
of the flood, he granted them the fpace of a hun- 
dred and twenty years, and called them to repen- 
tance, by Noah, and other Patriarchs. Thofe 
years being elapfed, he cut off the whole race of 
mankind, by a deluge, Noah and his family being 
excepted, in the year of the world, one thoufand 
fix hundred and fifty fix. Concerning the flood, 
two things are to be obferved. Firft. Its cer- 
tainty, which is confirmed, not only by Mofes, 
but likewife the moft ancient writers, and almoft the 
univerfal confent of men, of every nation. See 
Grotius, on the Truth of the Chriftian Religion, 
B. I. XVII. 

1. That it was univerfal, is proved from G^n. 
vi. 17. and vii. 19. &c. Some would have only 
that part of the earth, which was inhabited by 
mankind, to have been covered by the flood, but 
the relation of Mofes indicates the contrary, which 
is alfo confirmed by reafon. For, it fcarcely can 
be conceived, how fo fmall a part of the earth 
could have been covered with water to fuch a 
height. For there muft have been a huge mafs 
of water, which muft have remained firm as a pil- 
lar, through the whole year, and have never dif- 


Upon the Antediluvian Times. i6y 

perfed, which cannot be conceived. The ark, 
likewife, muft never have approached the extre- 
mities, or fides of that heap, otherwife it muft 
have tumbled down the precipiece. Thofe who 
contend, that the flood was particular, object, 
where could fuch a quantity of water be found, as 
would furround this whole globe of earth, and co- 
ver the mountains ? I anfwer, that the furface of 
the earth was more plain, and overfpread with 
water ; neither were the mountains fo high, as at 
prefent, which might be demonstrated from various 
paffages in Scripture. Here Burnet, an Englifh- 
man, may be confulted, in his book, the title of 
which is, A Theory of the Earth. 

The ufes of this doctrine are, Firft. From what 
has been obferved, concerning the religion of thofe 
moft ancient times.» we may plainly fee, what are 
the fundamental principles of religion, viz. to be- 
lieve that there is a God, and that he is the re- 
warder of thofe who feek him. Hence arifes the 
neceflity of faith, and obedience. Heb. xi. 4. 5. 
6. Where Paul treats of the Antediluvian times, 
and the religion of the Patriarchs. Second. From 
a companion drawn between that, and the prefent 
time, it evidently appears, that we enjoy, a much 
more perfecl: revelation, through Chrift, and that 
with refpecc to its articles of faith, precepts, pro- 
mifes, &:c. of which far more iiluitrious examples, 
are extant in the Gofpel. The exit of Enoch tef- 
tihes, that God is a rewarder, and that eternal life 
is referved for the godly ; but this is more fully 
evinced, by the afcenfion of Chrift. Third. 


1 68 Pert. L Chap. Vf. 

Hence it appears, of how much confequence it is, to 
avoid evil focietv, and to flee from lufts. Fourth. 
The principal ufes of this doctrine, concerning the 
flood are pointed out to us, 2 Pet. ii. 5. 9. And 
iii. 4. 5. 6. &c. 

Chap. VL 

Concerning the Abrahamick Covenant. 

THIS chapter confifts of two parts. The Firft. 
Relates to that period, which elapfed between 
the flood, and the calling of Abraham. The Se- 
cond. To his vocation. 

I. With refpecl to this period, there are four 
particulars, moft worthy of notice. Firft. The 
flood having ceafed, God entered into a covenant 
with Noah, and the univerfal race of mankind, 
and exhibited a republication of the laws of nature* 
The ancient Jews have a tradition, that there were 
feven precepts delivered to Noah. Firft. A^ainrl: 
Idolatry. Second. Blafpheming the name of God. 
Third. Theft. Fourth. Impure lufts. Fifth. May;i- 
ftrates. Sixth. Murder. Seventh. The not eating 
of fiefh with the blood. Thefe two Lift are mention- 
ed by Mofes, Gen. ix. 4. 5. 6. The fign of this cove- 
nant was the Rainbow, which, it is very probable, 
did not appear before the flood, fince at that time, 
the nature of the air, and the manner in which 
vapours afcended, were different, from what we 


Upon the Abrabamkk O/oenant. 169 

obferve at prefent, for it did not rain upon the 
earth. Gen. ii. 5. 6. vii. 4. 

2. Mkx, for fome time retained .the knowledge, 
and worhYip of God, and enjoyed the fame habitati- 
ons, but the pofterity of Noah being difperfed, re- 
ligion began to be corrupted. 

3. This difperfion is a memorable event, and 
is recorded in Gen. x. xi. Where we have a de- 
fcription of the building of the Tower of Babel, and 
of the confufion of tongues, which fome erroneoufly 
interpret, as refpe&ing concord among men. The 
words of Mofes, Gen. xi. 1. And the whole earth 
was of one language, and one fpeech, cannot be 
understood of harmony, or agreement among 
men, for who could believe, but there were diffe- 
rences among them ? If any one mould fay, that 
thefe words denote the agreement of thofe only, 
who were building the Tower of Babel, I anfwer, 
that Mofes docs not fpeak of thofe only, but the 
whole earth, i. e. all mankind and afierts, that 
they ufed the fame language, which is more than 
probable. There are likewife other reafons, which 
overthrow this opinion. But how the pofterity of 
Noah peopled the various parts of the earth, we 
are informed, Gen. x. which chapter, indeed me- 
rits our attention, and affords an invincible argu- 
ment, in fupport of the Chriftian religion, and of 
Sacred Hiftory. Bochart has wrote excellently well 
upon this fubjecl, in that excellent book of his 
inferibed Phaleg. 

N 4. After 

lyo - Tart I. Chap. VI. 

4. After this difperfion, men began to incline 
towards Idolatry, which feems to have been two- 
fold •, for at fir ft, they did not worfhip falfe Gods, 
but the true God, under images •, afterwards they 
fell into a groffer kind of it, and forfaking the 
true God, worshipped fictitious ones. The firft 
mention of idols, is in Gen. xxxi. 19. But even 
before that time, Abraham's father and grandfather 
were Idolaters. Jofh. .xxiv. 2. 3. Yet in fuch 
a manner, that the knowledge of the true God, had 
not been totally loft among them. Along with Ido- 
latry, various ether vices began to be perpetrated, 
as is plain, from what is related, concerning the 
Canaanites, and the inhabitants of Sodom. There- 
fore, at this particular time, God called Abraham, 
Gen. xi. 33. And xii. 

II. Abraham the fon of Terah, who was de- 
fended from Shem, inhabited Ur of the Chal- 
dees. The intention of God in calling him, was, 
Firft. To preferve the true religion in his family. 
Second. • From it to raife up the Median. And for 
this twofold reafon, he willed, that the offspring 
of Abraham, fhould be fepa rated from every other 
people. The covenant, which God entered into 
with him, confifted of two parts, viz. duties and 
promifes. The promifes are either general, viz. 
the lingular favour and protection of God. Gen. 
xv. 1 Fear not Abraham, I am thy fliield, and 
exceeding great reward. Which promife, Chrift 
informs us, does not only relate to this life, but 
alio to the life to come. Matt. xxii. 32, Or fpe- 
cial,viz, Firft. The pcfTeftion of the land of Ca- 

Upon the Abrahamick Covenant. lyi 

naan, with refpect to which promife, Paul ob- 
serves, that neither he nor his Tons were partakers 
of it, and hence infers, that a heavenly country 
was prepared for them. Second. A multiplication 
of his pofteritv. Gzn xv. 5. Third. The bief- 
fmg of all nations. Gen. xxii. 18. In thy feed 
mall all the nations of the earth be bleffed. Which 
promife, indeed, is not to be underftood, as only 
relating to the posterity of Abraham, but as con- 
cerning Chrift, and the calling of the Gentiles. Gal. 
iii. 8. 16. 

The duties, again, are either general, that 
Abraham mould walk before God, and be perfect. 
Gqu. xvii. 1. That he mould repofe a firm belief 
in God, and his promifes. There were alfo other 
fpecial commands, efpecially, that concerning the 
offering up of his fon. Gen. xxii. But all theie 
duties, were performed by Abraham. He teftifi- 
ed his obedience, after an excellent manner, by 
worshipping God, by believing in him, by offer- 
ing up facriMces, by departing from his own coun- 
try, and by the exercife of hofpitality and other 
virtues : But he exhibited a moft illuftrious in- 
llance of his faith and obedience, by believing 
that a Son, Ifaac, would be born to him, and by 
his offering him up. This Paul highly extolls. 
Rom. iv. 18. 19. Heb. xi. 8. 9. 17. But with 
refpect to the faith of Abraham, two things merit 
the ftricteft attention, which contribute much to 
the iiluftration of the doctrine of juftification. 
Firft. That he was faith, previous to 
his circumcifion. Rom. iv. 9. 10* 11. Hence Paul 
N 2 concludes, 

i- 72 P/zr/ i. c%-. VI. 

concludes, that the works of the Mofaick law, 
were not neceflary to justification. Second. Abra- 
ham evidenced his faith, by obedience and works. 
Heb. xi. 8. Jam. ii. 21. Was not Abraham our 
father juftified by works ? Hence it appears, that 
juftifying faith, is by no means to be feparated from 
good works. 

The covenant made with Abraham, was con- 
finned by certain folemnities. Firft. By that fa- 
crifice, which was confumed by celeftial fire. Gen. 
xv. 8. &c. For at that time God renewed his 
promifes, and revealed to him certain events. 
Second. By circumcifion, the end of which was. 
Firfr.. That a diftinction might be maintained, be-« 
tween the offspring of Abraham, and every other 
nation. Second. A confirmation of the promife, 
concerning the multiplication of his poflerity, efpe- 
dally the blefied feed. Gen. xvii. 10. 

A moral reafon may be added, viz. that the 
Tews might be taught the circumcifion of the heart, 
and renunciation of carnal affections. 

The ufes of this doctrine are, Firft. The good- 
nefs of God towards mankind, which is confpi- 
cuous, in his covenant made with Noah, after the 
^ flood. 

2. The truth of Sacred Pliftory, is mofl evident- 
ly collected from the defcription of Noah's pofterity. 
Gen. x. 

3. The 

Upon the Abrahamick Covenant. 173 

3. The greater!: ncceflity for a Divine revelati- 
on, appears, when men after the flood, were bent to- 
wards Idolatry, 

4. And, efpeciaily in th^ Abrahamick Cove- 
nant, we may obferve'. Firft. The wifdom of 
God, who, after he had decreed to fend Chrift, 
who even at that time, laid the foundations of the 
new covenant, which in the fulnefs of time he 
iiath revealed, Johnviii. 56. Abraham rejoiced 
to fee that my day, and he did fee it, and rejoiced, 
God, through his Son, hath entered into a far more 
excellent covenant with us, for whether we attend 
to the nature of it, or its precepts, its fuperioiity in 
point of excellence, muft be acknowleded by every 

2. The faith and obedience of this Holy Pa- 
triarch, ought to be imitated by us, which ufe Paul 
declares at large. Heb. xi. Abraham is called the 
Father of the Faithful, and we muft be juftified, 
after the example of Abraham, viz. by faith, in 
conjunction with works. Jam. ii. 20. Hence it 
follows, that without obedience none can pleafe 

Chap. VII. 

Concerning the Law of Mofes. 

AFTER God had conducted the posterity of 
Abraham, out of the land of Egypt, he prc- 
fcribed his law to them, by the miniftry of Moles, 
N 3 a mod 

1 7 4 Par*- I. Cbap. VII. 

a moil hoi/ man, and moft exellent Prophet, be- 
caufe, the time was now fully accomplifhed, in which 
that people was to be entirely feparated from every 
Other nation. The end, therefore, of this law, in 
general, was, to prefer ve the people of Ifrael in the 
profeflion and practice of the true religion, until the 
Advent of Cfarift. 

The Law is divided into Moral, Forenfick, and 
Ceremonial . 

L The Moral Law, a fummary of which, we 
have in the Decalogue, or Ten Commandments, 
refpects our duty towards God, and towards our 
neighbour. It was neceflary, that tlic Ifraelites 
fhould be inftructed in the knowledge of thefe, on 
account of the ignorance of that people. This is 
the rlrft, and principal part of the Divine Law. 
Firft. It was given firft of all, and that immedi- 
ately, after the departure of the Ifraelites from 
Egypt. Second. God himfelf promulged it, in 
the prefence of the people, and that with magnifi- 
cent, and dreadful apparatus. Third. He reduced 
it to tables, and engraved it with his own finger. 
Fourth. The whole of it is founded on the law of 
Nature, excepting the fourth commandment, which 
yet, on account of the commemoration of the Cre- 
ation, and antiquity of the Sabbath, approachcth 
verv nearly to the laws of nature. All of which 
indicate the excell ncy of the moral law, and that 
its obfervance is of perpetual obligation. Matt. 

v. 17. 

Upon the Mcfaick Law. 

J o 

\ . 17. 18. I did not come to deftroy the law, but 
to fulfil it. 

II. The Forenfick, or Judicial Law, takes the 
fecond place, for it was given immediately after the 
Moral Law. Ex. xxi. &c. It refpected the po- 
litical government of the people, and the fcope of it 
was twofold. General, viz. the prefervation of juf- 
tice and order in civil fociety •, and fpecial, viz. the 

• diftinction of the Jews from every other people. 
From whence arife, precepts of two kinds, general 
and fpecial. Likewife, precepts of a natural and po- 
fitive right : In the former refpecl, this law was 
notabolifhed, but in the latter. 

III. The Ritual., or Ceremonial Law, compre- 
hends certain facred rites, or ceremonies, to be 
ufed by the Jews in divine worfhip, and in private 
life. Of the latter kind, were the laws concerning 
the difference of meats, cloathing, and unclean- 
nefs. But the former refpected divine worfhip.. 
for, befides Circumcifion, and the PaiTbver, God 
had instituted various rites, which are common Iv 
reduced to four clafles, Firit.. Holy perfons -, the 
High Priell:, Priefts, Levites, who miniftred unto 
the Priefts, Nazerites, &c. Second. Holy things ; 
oblations, facrirtces, tythes, &:c. Third. Holy pla- 

. ces •, the Temple, and its apartments, the Taber 
nacle, the Court, the Sanctuary, and the Holy or' 
Holies. To which may be added, confecrated vef- 
fels ; the Ark, altars, cVc. Fourth. Holy times ; 
the Sabbath, new moons, the Paflbver, Pentecofl, 


i;6 Part. I. Chap, VII. 

Feaft of Tabernacles, the Sabbatical year, and 

Though thefe rites have been abolifhed by 
Chirft, yet, it is neceflary that they fhould be ac- 
curately known, efpecially by Divines. It would be 
of utility, to read Jofephus, with the Hiftory of 
Mofes, as alfo a French bock, Ceremonies, et Cou- 
tumes des Juifs. 

But the principal thing is, to understand the 
nature of thefe rites; for of themfelves, they were 
merely indifferent, and of pofitive right, neither 
could they juftify, or fanctify a man ; which is the 
caufe, why God fo frequently teftifies of them, that 
•of themfelves they were by no means pleafing to him. 
PC 1. 8. 9. I will not reprove thee for thy facrifl- 
ces> or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually 
before me. Mic. vi. 7. 8. &c. Will the Lord 
be pleafed with thoufands of rams. 

Now, the caufe, why the mod wife God pre- 
scribed thefe rites, and that form of worfnip, was, 
Firft. The carnal difpofition of the people of 
Ifrael, and their propenfity towards Idolatry, whom 
therefore, it was neceflary to have employed about 
thefe externals, left they fhould have turned afide 
to an idolatrous kind of worfhip. Second. God, 
by thefe inftitutions, intended to avert them from 
Idolatry, by prefcribing rites, of a nature quite 
contrary to the rites of the Gentiles. Here Spen- 
cer ought to be confulted, upon the ceremonial 
laws of the Hebrews, who yet is defervedJy repre- 


Upon the Mofaick Law, 177 

fienfible, in fome things. Third. The third end 
was, that he might raife the minds of the Jews to 
a fpiritual wcrfhip, and by this means, inftrucl: 
them in the various capital topicks, and duties of 
religion : Thus their purifications, and facrirkes, 
indicated the neceffity of internal purification, and 
ian6Hfication. Fourth. Thefe rites had a refpect 
unto the MeiTiah, who was to come, and were 
types of Chrift, and the benefits purchafed by him. 
This Paul demonstrates at large, Jieb. viii. ix. x. 
Thefe things being fo, we conclude, that the ce- 
remonial law was introduced, only to continue for 
a feafon, viz. until the coming of Chrift, and that 
after his Advent it was to be abrogated? It re- 
fpected the people of Ifrael only, and was bound 
to the City and Temple of Jerufalem - 9 fo that 
other nations could not be obliged to the obfer- 
vance of it. Nay, God himfelf abolifhed it, when 
he willed that both City and Temple, mould be 
totally overthrown, and that the Gentiles mould be 
called to the knowledge of himfelf. 

This much we thought proper mould be ob- 
ferved, in general, concerning the law of Mofes. 
But the Jews have a tradition, that, befides this 
Written law, there was another delivered by God, 
unto Mofes, upon Mount Sinai, which contains an 
explanation of the written law, and which Mofes 
formerly delivered unto the Elders, and was after- 
wards prefer ved by tradition. But left that this 
law might be loii in oblivion, the Jews collected it 
into one book, which they called Mifchna. The 
Rabbins commented again upon this, and out of it 


178 Part I. Chap. VII. 

compiled the Gemara, whence was compofed the 
Talmud, which is twofold, of Jerusalem and Ba- 
bylon. Yet, all the Jews did not equally embrace 
this oral law, for there are fome of them, who re- 
ceive the written law only, for which reafon, they are 
termed, Kerraim, or Scripturalifts. 

Uses. Since the moral is the principal, and 
moft excellent part of the Mofaick Law, it is of 
fignal utility, and refpects us, as well as the Jews. 
Chrift hath eftablifhed it, by his authority, Matt, 
v. 17. and it is wholly of natural right ♦, therefore, 
no regard ought to be paid to fuch as imagine that 
Chriftians are freed from the obfervance of the 
law. Again, attention mould be given to the 
{qiiCq^ or meaning of this law, viz. that God does 
not only forbid attrocious crimes, fuch as Idolatry, 
Murder, Adultery, Theft, &c. but requires inter- 
nal fanclity, and obedience, as is moil evident, from 
Matt. v. where the Lord Jefus expounds the true 
meaning of the law. 

2. Although the Political Law, in various 
points appertains to the Jews only, yet, in many 
others, it is of great utility, to judges, magiftrates, 
and to perfons in private life : For it teacheth, 
what are the duties belonging to natural juftice, 
by what means order may be prcferved in civil 
fociety, and that every perfon mould enjoy what 
is properly his right. It likewife prefcribes the 
various duties of equity, and humanity towards 
the poor, and ftrangers, See, A more particular 


Concerning the Prophets. 179 

infpection into thefe laws, affords us many, and thofe 
very fignal ufes. 

3. Though the Ritual, or Ceremonial Law, be 
abolifhed, yet it will be of advantage to Chriftians, 
to meditate upon it. In it the wifdom of God is 
perfpicuous, for it contains nothing that is trivial, 
or ufelefs. In it we find the rudiments, and foun- 
dation of the Evangelical Covenant. As likewife, 
of the redemption purchafed by Chrift, and of 
our duty, &c. Befides it is worthy of obfer- 
vation, that the Chriftian Religion, though fpirit- 
ual, and very fimple, has likewife its rites, and 
thofe, indeed, but few and fimple, yet fuch as 
have Chrift for their author, and ought therefore 
to be celebrated, and ufed with the greater!: reve- 

Chap. VIII, 

» Concerning the Prophets. 

AFTER. Mofes, God fent Prophets to pre- 
ferve religion, or to confirm, and illuftrate 
it, or laftly to reftore it, when decayed. The 
word Prophet, is fometimes to be underfiood in 
an extenfive {q\\(^ and denotes a perfon devoted 
to things facred, and the ftudy of the law, or one 
who difcourfes upon fubjects of a divine nature. 
But here, by Prophets we are to underftand, ex- 
traordinary men commifTioned by God, and influ- 
enced by the Divine Spirit, remarkable for vari- 
ous gifts, efpecially zeal and piety, miracles, and 


i So Part I. Chap. VIII. 

the gift of predicting future events. Yet all thefe 
gifts were not to be found in all the Prophets, nor 
at all times. Some, as for inftance, Balaam were 
deftitute of true piety, to whom God yet thought 
proper to reveal himfelf. Nor did all of them re- 
ceive the gift of miracles, or of predicting future 

Besides, the office of Prophets was, Firft. To 
preferve, or reftore true religion, i. e. to promote 
both the worfhip of God, and purity of life, and 
manners, which are the main points of religion. 
It is evident from Scripture, that they with great 
zeal, and boldaefs of fpeech, recalled the people 
of Ifrael from Idolatry and vice, left that religion 
mould be entirely loft. This was not only done 
in the kingdom of Judah, by Ifaiah, Jeremiah, and 
others, but likewife in the kingdom of Ifrael, by 
Elias, Hofea, and others. Second. The fecond 
duty of Prophets, was, to predict future events, 
But now they prophecied, either concerning cer- 
tain events, which related either to fome certain 
people, or certain men, efpecially they foretold, 
what was to befall the Jews, the tranflation of the 
Ten Tribes into the Babylonifti Captivity, and its 
duration, &c. or concerning the Mefliah, and his 
kingdom. The Prophecies concerning the Mef- 
fiah, are of two kinds, fome of them have a re- 
fpeCt to his perfon, and the various circumftances 
of his Advent, the time and place of his nativity, 
the people from which he was to defcend, his fa- 
mily and his mother •, likewife his low condition, 
Jiis paflion, death, refurreCtion, glory, and king- 

Concerning the Prdphc'.s. 1 8 1 

dom. Others refpccl the kingdom of the Mef- 
fiah, which is defcribed, as fpiritual and univer- 

i. His kingdom muft be fpiritual, becaufe the 
Prophets every where inform us, that men were 
to be brought to the true worfhip, and obedience 
of God, and that the ceremonial worfhip, would 
at length be abolifhed, as being of itfelf no way ac- 
ceptable unto him, 

2. Universal. For all the prophets, from 
Mofes until Malacchi, prophecied concerning the 
calling of the Gentiles, and rejections of the Jews, 
only for a time, as alfo concerning the restoration of 
(Thrift's kingdom, over the whole terreftrial globe, 
All of which we mall make appear in their proper 
places, With refpect to the predictions of the Pro- 
phets, the following rules are to be obferved. Firft. 
That every prophecy is obfeure, before its event, 
at lead in fome refpefb : Wherefore, no one 
need marvel, that there is fome obfeurity to be 
met with in the moft of Prophecies ; nay, they 
muft neceflarily have been obfeure, otherwife they 
could not have been accomplished, unlefs God had 
frequently inverted the order of the world, and 
there would have been neen of perpetual miracles, 
left men mould have impeded the accomplimment 
of the events foretold. Second. Prophecies are 
principally to be explained from the event, and 
from Scripture. The events, and the Spirit of 
God, fpeaking in Scripture, are the bed interpre- 
ters of prophecy. Third. Some prophecies are al- 

x82 Part I. Cb#. VIII, 

ready fulfilled, fuch as treat of the firft Advent of 
Chrift, his nativity and death, and the rejection of 
the Jews ; but there are others, which are to be 
fulfilled in futurity, fuch are thofe which treat of 
the univerfality of Chrift's kingdom, the overthrow 
of Antichriit, the converfion of the Jews, the end 
of the world, Szc. Truely, there are events latent 
under the writings of the Prophets, Daniel, Jeremi- 
ah, Ezekiel, the Apoftle John, and others which 
are unknown to us, and there are many predictions 
more exprefs than we imagine, which being fulfilled, 
many difcoveries will be made, in the writings of the 
Prophets, which we at prefent have no notion of. 
Acts iii. 2i. 

Uses. Firft. Here the wifdom, and goodnefs 
of God mould be acknowledged, who hath reco- 
vered his people from Idolatry, and impiety, by 
fending his Prophets as occafion required. 

2. What has been fpoken by the Prophets, a- 
gainft impiety, hypocrify and other fins, are of 
fignal uie, and merit the mod ferious meditation. 

3. These ancient Prophets predicted many 
things, which relate to our own times, and which 
have been clearly revealed in the Gofpel : Here 
appears the great happinefs of our ftate. 1 Pet. i. 20. 
Where Chrift is faid to have been foreordained, 
before the foundation of the world, but made ma- 
nifeft in thefe laft times upon our account. Matt, 
xiii. 17. Many Prophets and righteous men, have 
defired to fee thofe things which we fee, and have 


Upon the various Stale of the Jews. 1S3 

r.ot iecn them, and to hear thofe things which ye 
hear, and have not heard them. God, in former 
times, taught his people by the Prophets, but, in 
thefe lad times, we have Chrirt himfelf for our in- 
ftructor. Heb. i. 1. Hence, we are put under a 
greater neceffity of worfhipping, and of Joving 
God. cVc. Fourth. From the predictions of the 
Prophets, an invincible argument may be drawn, 
for the confirmation of the exigence of God, and 
our faith, and by thefe the objections of Atheifts, 
and other prophane perfons, we either deny, or call 
m queftion the truth of religion, are in the mofl: 
folid manner refuted. 

Chap. IX. 

Concerning the various State of the Jews. , 

THE State of the Jews may be confidered, 
either with refpect. to political government, 
or religion. 

1. Their Political State was fourfold, viz. under 
judges, under kings, in the Babylonian Captivity, 
and from that 'till the Advent of Chrift. 

The Judges were Princes, or extraordinary 
Magistrates commitiioned by God, to rule over 
the people, and to protect, them from their ene- 
mies. Foe at that time, the Jewifh Republick 
was greatly difordered and difquieted, and the 
Ifraelites, having fallen into various fins, efpeci . * 
Idolatry, were delivered by God into the hands of 

th iir 

1 84 Part I. C&p. IX. 

their enemies, and were afterwards delivered from 
them by their Judges. Neh. ix. 16. 27. Acts xiii. 
20. The Tabernacle was then in Shilo, until the 
time of Samuel, the laft of the Judges. 

2. Their fecond ftate, was under Kings, viz, 
Saul, David, and Solomon, who ruled over the 
Twelve Tribes. But again, after the feparation of 
the Twelve Tribes, under Rehoboam fon of Solo- 
mon, they were partly under the Kings of Ifrael, 
and partly under the Kings of Judah. Jeroboam, 
the firft King of Ifrael, or of the Ten Tribes, who 
had revolted from Rehoboam, introduced Idolatry 
in a public manner, by erecting two calves, one in 
Dan, and the other in Bethel, which worfhip was 
retained by all the fucceflbrs of Jeroboam, until 
tht overthrow of the Ifraelitim Empire. God often- 
times fent Prophets, to recall the Ifraelites from 
Idolatry, and preferve among them the knowledge 
of himfelf : But at length thofe Ten Tribes were 
carried off into AfTyria by Salmanazar, who were 
never reftored excepting a few Ifraelites, who re- 
turned into their country with the Jews, upon 
their return from Babylon, and thus ended the If- 
raelitifh Empire. But the kingdom of Judah, 
ceafed an hundred and feventy years after the cap- 
tivity of the Ten Tribes, Jerufalem being taken 
by the Chaldeans, the Temple burnt, and the 
Jews carried off into Babylon. Concerning the 
deftruclion of both kingdoms, and its caufes, fee 
Chap. xvii. of the Second Book of Kings. 

3, Under 

Upon the various State of the J civs, 185 

3. Under the Babylonifli captivity, the Jews 
were, humanely treated, nay, there were fome among 
them, as for inftance, Daniel, and others, who were 
in great favour with the Babylonian, and Perfian 
kings. They lived according to their own cuftoms, 
and retained a certain form of authority and 
government. Ezekiel, and Daniel prophecied at 
that time. 

The Jews having returned to their own coun- 
try, the Temple was rebuilt, and religion reftored. 
They lived at that time under the kings of Perfia, 
again, under the Kings of Syria, and afterwards/ 
under the Afmonians, and laftly, under the Ro- 
mans, who conftituted Herod I. King of the Jews. 
After the captivity, a great fynagogue was infti- 
tuted, of which, as ancient tradition informs us, 
Ezra was prefident •, and it is believed, that he was 
the perfon who compiled the canon of the Old 
Teftament. At that time, likewife, was compofed 
the verfion of the Seventy Interpreters, and the 
celebrated feels of Pharifees, Sadduces, and EfTenes 
arofe, concerning which, Jofephus and others may 
be confulted. 

II. With refpeel- to the ftate of the Jews, con- 
cerning religion, two things mull be acknow- 
ledged. Firft. That their ftate was far more hap- 
py than that of other nations, for God manifefted 
himfelf to the Jews, and conferred upon them va- 
rious benefits, both temporal, and fpiritual, efpe- 
daily, he entered into a particular covenant with 
O tt 

1 36 Part I. Chap. IX. 

them, whereas, all other nations lived und?r the 
Covenant of nature. 

2. But though the Jews enjoyed fingular pre- 
rogatives, yet their ftate, when compared with 
that of Christians, was imperfect, and that with 
refpect to knowledge, faith, fanctity, and confola- 
tion, or confidence. Firft. Their knowledge was 
imperfect, for there were many things, which God 
did not reveal to them, or but in part, obfeurely, 
and under various types, and figures •, and what 
ought to be obferved, is, that even the Prophets 
fhemfelves had not an accurate knowledge of the 
th'ngs which they predicted. Matt. xiii. 17. 1 Pet. 
1. 10. 11. 12. Second. As their knowledge was 
imperfect, fo likewife muft their faith, which is al- 
ways in proportion to the degree of knowledge ; 
yet it was fufficient, becau-fe they believed in what 
was revealed to them. Third. The fame thing 
may be Cud of the fanctity of the faithful, under 
the Old Testament, whence it is, that 'we obferve 
many blemifhes in them, which God, indeed, did 
not approve of, but tolerated, on account of the 
dirpofitioa of that people, and the imperfection of 
their revelation. This Chrift teacheth, Matt. v. &c. 
Asalfo, xix. 8. Mofes, becaufe of the hardnefs of 
your hearts, fufFered you to put away your wives. 
Fourth, Laftly, fince confidence and hope, muft 
always be according to the meafure of knowledge, 
faith, and fanctity, their confolation muft likewife 
have been lefs, therefore, they are faid to have had 
the fpirit of bondage. Rom. viii. 15. Gal. [v. 2. 
3. And Paul aflerts, that the law could not per- 

Upon the various State of the Jews. 187 

ieclly juftify, and fandlify a man, and that it was 
weak. Rom. viii. 3. Gal. iii. 21. For if there 
had been a law given, which could have given life, 
verily righteoufnefs would have been by the law. 
Heb. vii. 18. 19. For the law made nothing per- 
fect And x. &c. 

3. Yet the faithful among the Jews, were ac- 
ceptable unto God, and were made partakers of 
falvation, i. e. of the remiffion of fins, and life 
eternal. Firft. Of the rsmiflion of their fins, Rom. 
iv. 5. 6. But to him that worketh not, but be- 
lieveth on him that juftifieth the ungodly, his faith 
is counted for righteoufnefs. Even as David, alfo, 
defcribeth the blefTednefs of the man, unto whom 
God imputeth righteoufnefs, without works. Con- 
cerning eternal life, it is plain, that the Jews ex- 
.pected, and obtained it. Heb. xi. 9. 10. 13. 16. 
Abraham is faid to have looked for a city, which 
hath foundations, whofe builder and maker is God. 
Nay, they obtained falvation, in the fame manner 
as we, for there is, and always hath been, only one 
way to falvation, viz. faith, accompanied with 
good works. This Paul declares, through the 
whole of the ix. chap, of his Epiftle to the He- 
brews, and mews, that all the ancients, from Abel 
unto ChriM:, were acceptable unto God, through 
faith. But of thefe more at large, when we come 
to treat of Juftification. Therefore, they were 
faved under the law, but not by the law, but by 
the mercy of God in Chrift. Rom. iii. 24. So 
that, even at that time, there were feeds of 
thz Evangelical Covenant, for they had the pro- 
O 2 mife 

J 88 Parti. Chap. IX. 

mife concerning the Meffiah, who was to come, and 
expected his coming. 

As to the queftion, whether they had any know- 
ledge of Chrift, or had any refpect towards him, 
or what was the degree of their knowledge ? There 
is no one who can anfwer with precifion. They 
believed, in general, that the Meffiah was to come, 
but their faith was obfcure, which plainly appears, 
from the death of Chrift being a {tumbling block 
to the Jews ; and the Apoftles themfelves, who 
had been with the Lord Jefus, could not believe 
that the Meffiah was to die. Without doubt, the 
Patriarchs, and Prophets, were real, and excellent 
Saints, whofe faith was fuperior in ftrength to others ♦, 
but it is fcarcely credible, that they knew what the 
Meffiah was to do, and fuffer, for the faivation of 
mankind. See that pafTage, which we have juft now 
quoted, i Pet. i. 10. 11 12. 

The ufes. In the various ftate of the Jews, 
we fee very many examples, both of the goodnefs 
andjuiiice of God. For, according to their beha- 
viour, that people experienced the favour, or wrath 
of God. At length, when wickednefs prevailed 
among them, God overthrew, fir ft, the kingdom of 
lirael, and afterwards, the kingdom of Judah. 
Which dreadful overthrow of the Jews, is an 111- 
ftanceof Divine wrath, ferioufly to be reflected on 
bv Chriftians. 

2: We may obferve, that God, by what hap- 
pened to the Jews, prepared the way for the call- 

Concerning the State of other Nations. J89 

ing of the Gentiles. For the reafon why he willed 
the difperfion of that people, was not only the pu- 
nifhment of their fins, but alio that by this means, 
the knowledge of God might be fpreai over the 
whole world, fo that the Gentiles might be prepared 
for the reception of the Gofpel. 

3. From a comparifon drawn between our 
ftate, and that of the Jews, with refpect to religion, 
it appears, that God has conferred upon us, a 
much larger portion of his favour •, therefore, every 
duty of faith and obedience, which we owe to him, 
ought to be performed by us in the mod perfect 

Chap. X» 

Concerning the State of other Nations, 

AFTER treating of the Jews, it now remains 
that we ihould fee, what is the ftate of other 
nations, previous to the Advent of Chrift. 

It appears, at firft fight, that there was a vaft 
difference between the Jews, and other people 
who lived without the limits of the Jewifh cove- 
nant, and walked in the darknefs of ignorance 
and vice. Pf. cxlvii. 19. 20. He meweth his 
word unto Jacob, and his ftatutes unto Ifrael : He 
hath not dealt fo with any nation, fo that they 
have not known thofe laws. Acts. xiv. 16. In 
times paft, he fuffered all nations to walk in their 
own ways. But the queftion is, whether the Gen- 
O 3 tiles, 

19^ Part I. Chap. X. 

tiles, were in fuch a manner deftitute of the know- 
ledge of the true God, that all men, excepting the 
Jews, were funk in Idolatry, and wickednefs, and 
confccmently perifhed eternally ? 

It appears that this can fcarcely be aiTerted, 
for, Firft. It is more than probable that the prime- 
val religion of the Patriarchs, and confequently 
the relicks of the knowledge and worfhip of God, 
remained among mankind for fome time after the 
flood. Second. The goodnefs of God will not al- 
low us to believe, that he entirely forfook all man- 
kind, whom he had created, except the pofterity 
of Abraham -> neither does it feem agreeable to his 
wifdom, to appoint a revelation by nature, which 
would be attended with no advantage, and that he 
made choice of fuch a method of manifefting 
himfelf, as would induce none to his worfhip. 
Third. There are paflages in Scripture, which 
feem altogether to fuppofe, that there were fome 
who made a good improvement of the law of na^ 
ture. Rom. ii. 9. 10. But glory, and honour, 
and peace, to every one that worketh good, to 
the Jew fxrft, and alfo to the Greek. Acts. x. 
24. Peter faith, that God is no refpecler of per- 
sons, and that in every nation, every one is ac- 
cepted by him, who feareth him, and worketh 
nghteouincfs. And xvii. 27. 4. But what prin- 
cipally cught to be attended to, is, that the Sacred 
Scripture afTords various examples, which mani- 
feirly fhew, that there were perfons who worfhip- 
ped the true God, and at the fame time were not 
01 Abraham's feed. What Mofe^ relates concern- 

Concerning the State of other Nations. 191 

ing Pharaoh King of Egypt, Gen. xii. 15. 16. 
fuppofes, that all reverence of the Deity had not 
totally decayed in that country. Mofes relates^ 
Gen. xx. that God manifefted himfelf to Abime- 
leck, King of Gerar, and that this King, as ibon 
as he knew that Sarah was Abraham's wife, de! : - 
vered her to her hufband. That pafTage Pf. vi, 
is remarkable. Likewife, what Abimeleck fays, 
Gen. xxi. 22. 23. And., xx. 9. 10. But efpecially 
the example of Melchifedeck, Gen. xiv. who 
was an excellent worfhipper of God, a Prieft, and 
a type of Chrift, to whom Abraham paid the 
greateft deference : Now, as he was both King 
and Prieft, who could believe, that there was none 
belonging to his kingdom who wormipped the 
true God, and was of the fame religion with him- 
felf. But it is beyond doubt, that the true religion 
was preferved for fome time among the pofterity 
of Abraham, viz. the Ifhmalites, Idumeans, and 
others, who were fprung from Hagar, Keturah, 
and Rabeka, fee Gen. xviii. 19. which is plainly 
evinced from the rite of circumcifion, being obfervecj 
among them. 

Besides, it is certain, that the true God was 
known by La ban in Mefipotamia, neither would 
Abraham and Ifaac, have confented to their fons 
intermarrying with perfons, idolatrous and pro- 

The worfhip of idols, had indeed got into the 
family of Laban, as appears from Gen. xxxi. 19. 
20. Yet the worfhip and fear of God, had not en- 


:o- P*# t Chap. X. 

tirely vamlhed from them, as appears from the 
converfation which palled between Eleazor, and 
Laban. Gtn. xxlv. The Fiftieth verfe of which 
chapter is to be obferved, where Laban faith : 
The thing is of the Lord, we cannot fpeak unto 
thee bad or good. Like-wife from the expostulation 
of Laban with Jacob, fee Gen. xxxi. 24. Where we 
read, that God appeared unto Laban, and that Ra* 
beka and Rachel were pious, may be collected 
from Sacred Hiftory. Job was a man of fuch 
piety, as that his equal could not be found upon 
earth. Job. i. 8. Neither was he the only one in 
his country, who worshipped God, his friends 
EHphas, Bildad, Tophar, and Eliher, likewiie were 
worfhippers of him, and it appears from their dif- 
courfes, that there were men of piety in thofe pla- 
ces -, neither ought it to* be overlooked, what the 
Seventy Interpreters have annoted, at the end of 
the Book of Job, that thofe friends of Job, were 
Kings or Princes, and confequently true religion 
had not been baniftied from their dominions. 
Another example we find in Jethro, Mofes's fa- 
ther in law, a Prieft, and Prince of the Medio- 
nites, whofe excellent piety is extolled, Exod. 
xviii. 11. 12. 13. 23. But that the pofterity of 
Jethro, did not depart from the worfhip of the true 
God, may be learned from Judg. iv. 11. It is 
likewife evident from the hiftory of Balaam, that 
God was not unknown in Mefapotamia. Num. 
xxii. &x. In fubfequent times, true religion under- 
went a greater decay, yet was not extinct in fuch 
a degree, but that the knowledge of God, at cer- 
tain times, reached thofe foreign people. What 


Concerning the State of other Nations. 195 

the facred writers relate, concerning Hiram King 
of the Tyrians, is worthy of being read. 1 Kings 
v. 7. As alfoofthe Queen of Shiba, 1 Kings x. 
Q. Of Cyrus, and 'Darius, Ezr. i. 2 3. And vi. 
10. 1 1. &c. Of Nebuchadnezar, Dan. iii. And iv. 
Of Darius, Dan. vi. 26. Though I would not a£. 
fert, that all thofe Kings are to be numbered 
among the wormippers of the true God. Neither 
ought we to omit the example of the Ninevites. 
Jonah iii. 6. 7. See chapter i. 6. of the fame Book, 
feefides, it cannot be denied, that the Jews being 
difperfed over the various regions of the earth, .for 
many ages before the birth of Chrift, brought over 
many men to the acknowledgement of the true 
God. Nay, it appears from hiftory, that the 
number of profelytes was very great who worfhip- 
ped God, after the Babylonifh captivity, and in 
the time of Chrift, having rejected the worfhip of 
idols, though they had not been received into the 
Jewifh covenant by circumcifion, and thefe were 
acceptable unto him, as, the centurian Cornelius, 
Actsx. 1. 2. The Eunuch of Queen Candace, 
Acts 8. 27. And if there was a more complete 
hiftory of thofe times extant, without doubt, we 
might add many more examples of the fame kind, 
to what we have already produced. It has been 
the common opinion of the ancient Chriftians, that 
fome decree of piety and virtue, was to be found 
among the Gentiles, as appears from J uftin Mar. 
tyr's fecond Apology, Chryfoftom, Hieronymus, 
and others. Some of our teachers belonging to 
the reformed Church, were of the fame opinion, 
efpecially Zuinglius, in his expofition of the Chrif- 


194 Part I. Chap. X. 

tian faith, which was delivered to the King of 
France, in the common name of the Helvetian 
Churches, and which was recommended by Bullin- 
gerus, where page 27, he claries Socrates, Ariftides, 
Numa, the Catos, Scipios, with the Saints, and vir- 
tuous men, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Mofes, &c. 
whom we mall fee in the life to come •, though he 
does by no means think, that all thofe whom Zuin- 
glius mentions, ought to be numbered among the 
godly. It is true, that the Scripture, Pf. cxivii. 
19. 20. Acts xiv. 16. excludes the Gentiles from 
the covenant and worfhip of God ; but thefe paf- 
fages ought not to be fo urged, as that we were to 
believe, that all men, who were not of the Jews, 
were Idolaters, and impious, for if that were the 
cafe, the Scripture would contradict itfelf. Thefe 
places are not to be underftood abfolutely, and 
without any limitation, but comparatively, with re- 
fpect to the Jews, who lived under a fpecial cove- 
nant. Thefe who differ from us in opinion, object, 
that without the grace of God, and faith in Chrift, 
there can be no falvation. We anfwer, that no in- 
jury is offered to Divine grace, providing we 
maintain, that fuch among the Gentiles, as wor- 
shipped God, did fo, by the affiftance of his fpe- 
cial grace. Likev/ife, that none are made parta- 
kers of falvation, but by the mercy of God 
through Chrift. To be faved without Chrift, is 
one thing, and to be faved without the knowledge 
of him is another. But if any one fhould pre- 
tend, that the knowledge of Chrift, and faith in 
him, are abfolutely neceffary, let him beware, left 


Concerning the State of other Nations. 195 

along with the Gentiles, he excludes the Jews them- 
felves from ialvation. 

Lastly, we conclude, that at the time, in which 
Chrift appeared in the world, the ftate of mankind, 
was very miferable, and deplorable. Of this the 
Apoftles every where inform us, in their Epiftles, as 
Eph. ii. i. And you hath he quickned, who were 
dead in fins, wherein, in time paftye walked accord- 
ing to the courfe of this world, &c. and iv. 17. 
Tit. iii. 3. and 1 Pet. iv. 3 4. &c. 

Uses. Firft. This doctrine is of fignal ufe, 
as it furnifries us with an anfwer to prophane per- 
fons, who objecl, that God hath forfaken the 
greater!: part of the world, for fo many ages, in 
fuch a manner, ib that all men, excepting a few 
among the Jews, muft have fuffered eternal per- 

2. From what has been faid, appears the great 
goodnefs of God towards us, who live in thefe times, 
jn which the Gentiles have been called to his cove- 

3. It is our duty to make a proper ufe of that 
knowledge, which we enjoy, as otherwife, we 
have to undergo more grievous punifhments than 
thofe, who live in the grofs darknefs of ignorance, 
and vice, who fhall rife up againft us in the day 
of judgment. Matt. xi. 21. 22. 23. andxii. 41. 
42. The men of Nineveh fhall rife in judgment 
*vith this generation, and fhall condemn it. And 


i$6 Part I. Chap. X, 

as Paul affures us, Rom. i. 20. and ii. 12. that the 
Gentiles, who abufed the revelation, that is by na- 
ture, were inexcufable, and obnoxious to Divine 
wrath, what are we to exped, who are illuminated 
with the light of the Gofpel, if we do not worfhip the 
true God, with fincerity of heart ? 

The End of the First Part. 


t '97 1 



Of the Time fubfequent to the Advent of Chrift. 

This latter part of Theology confifts of feven 
fections. Firft. Concerning John the Baptift. Se- 
cond. Jefus Chrift. Third. The conftitution of 
the Chriftian Church. Fourth. The doctrine which 
was preached in the Church. Fifth. The Church 
itfelf. Sixth, The afliftances to falvation. Seventh, 
The world to come. 


Of John the Baptift. 

WE come now to treat of that moil blefied 
period, in which the Meftiah was exhibited. 
But, fince the divine million of John, the Baptift 
preceded the Median's Advent, we mail, in the 
firft place, make fome obfervations upon this moft 
happy Prophet, his perfon, and office. 

I. John the Baptift was a moft excellent Pro- 
phet, concerning whom* the three following parti- 

iSS Part II. Sect. 1. 

culars are related in the Gofpel. Firft. His nativ- 
ity, which was attended with circurh {lances, which 
were very extraordinary ; for he was born at a 
time when both his father and mother were far ad- 
vanced in years, and that by virtue of the Divine 
promife, recorded, Luke i. But this miracle, thus 
accomplished in the birth of the Baptift, may be 
confiiered, as a prelude to the nativity of the Lord 
Jefus, who was foon after to be born of the Virgin 
Mary. Second. His life, in which we may ob- 
ferve, a certain auflerity of morals, fanctity, and 
zeal. His habitation was in the wildernefs, where 
he lived upon fimple food, in a very plain habit, 
in which refpects, he refembled Ellas, whofe name, 
for that reafon, was transferred to him by Malachi. 
Chap. iv. 5. Behold, I will fend unto you the 
Prophet Elias, before that dreadful day of the Lord 
cometh. And Matt. xi. 14. This is that Elias, who 
was to-come. And xvii. 10. 13. But God willed, 
that the forerunner of the Mefllah mould appear 
in the likenefs of Elias, in order that the minds of 
men might be prepared for the reception of Chrift, 
who was to be a King, entirely fpiritual. And 
that the Jews might be freed from the grofs appre- 
henfions* which they had entertained, relative to 
the MefTiah's kingdom. Third. His death is to be 
obferved : He was cut off by violence. Matt. xiv. 
Which event, fo fell out by the peculiar deter- 
mination of God, viz. that the Jews might under* 
ftand, that the MefTiah's kingdom was entirely fpi- 
ritual, and that they mould not be offended at the 


Upon John the Baptijl. 199 

death of Chrift. So that, in this refpect, John was 
a type of the Lord Jefus. 

II. The office of John the Baptift may be con- 
fidered, either in general, or in particular. 

1. With refpect to his office in general, we 
have to confider, his vocation to it, as likewife, the 
nature and neceffity of the office itfelf. His voca- 
tion to it was plainly divine, as he was filled with 
the Holy Ghoft, even from his mother's womb. 
Luke i. 15. And his defignation for it was by an 
Angel : But when the time was accomplifhed, in 
which it was to commence, he was in a fpecial 
manner, called to it by God himfelf. Luke iii. 2* 
John i. 6. There was a man lent from God, whofe 
name was John. As to the office itfelf, he was a 
harbinger or forerunner of Chrift. But it became 
the Meffiah to have a forerunner, and, indeed, fuch 
as John was, in order, that the Jews might be pre- 
pared to give due attention to his inftructions ; for 
it behoved Chrift to appear in a character quite 
different from that which the Jews had conceived 
of the Meffiah, viz. that of a royal potentate, at- 
tended with formidable armies, and with worldly- 
pomp and fplendor. But on the contrary, the cha- 
racter which became him, was that of a fpiritual 
king, who was to deliver men from fin, and of a 
man fubject to infirmities, who at length mufl fuf- 
fer death ; each of which circumftances, flood in 
direct oppofition to the prejudices of the Jews. 
This was the reafon, why John, who announced 
the Advent of the kingdom of Heaven, exhibited 


200 Part II. Si8. 1. 

nothing that favoured of any thing terreftrial ; and 
like the other Prophets, exhorted men to repent> 
ance, and purity of life. But fo excellent was the 
office of the Baptift, that Chrift himfelf pronounced 
him the greateft of Prophets. Matt. xi. 1 1. 

2. This office confidered particularly, refpected 
either Chrift, or the people of the Jews. With 
refpedt to Chrift, he was commiffioned, to bear te- 
ftimony of him, and baptize him. He bore wit- 
nefs to Chrift, John i. 7. 8. where he fayeth, that 
he came to bear witnefs of that light, that all men 
through him might believe. This he did various 
ways : For he taught that the Mefliah would in a 
fhort time be prefent ; he extolled his perfon, dig- 
nity, and office, faying, He it is, who coming af- 
ter me, is preferred before me, whofe fhoes 
latchet, I am not worthy to unloofe. John i. 27. 
He openly pointed him out, John \. 32. 33. 36. 
which teftimony being exhibited, by this moft 
Holy Prophet, muft indeed be of great weight. 
Again he baptized Chrift, that previous to his «en- 
trance upon his office, he might be initiated by 
this folemn rite, and that the Jews, who greatly 
revered the Baptift, might be the better difpofed, 
to believe in him •, and therefore God willed, that 
the Holy Spirit ftiould at that time defcend upon 
him from Heaven, under a vifible form, and 
openly declared him his well beloved fon. Matt, 
iii. 16. 17. 

With refpect to the people, the office of John 
coniifted of two parts, viz. his Doctrine, and Bap- 


Upon John the BapHJl. 201 

i r r. Again, his Doctrine con filled of three 
>arts. Firft. Duties, viz. that the Jews would re- 
cent, and believe in Jefus. Matt. iii. 2. Repent, 
or the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. And 
Luke iii. 3. Preaching the\Baptifm of repentance, 
tnd remiifion of fins. But for this reafon, did this 
noft holy man urge -repentance, becaufe the 
vicked and ungodly, could, by no means, be fub- 
ects of the Meiliah's kingdom'-, only fiich as were 
nen of fincerity, or amended their lives, could 
mibrace his Gofpel. Second. Promiies \ which 
vere merely Spiritual, viz. the manifeflation of 
:he kingdom of Heaven. Matt. iii. 2. RemiiTion 
)f fins, Luke iii. 3. and the gifts of the Holy Spi- 
lt. Matt. iii. 11. He mall baptize you with the 
Spirit, and with fire. Third. Threatnings ; an ex- 
:lufion from the kingdom, and covenant of God, 
md the moft dreadful punimments to be inflicted 
ipon unbelievers. Matt. iii. 10. Every tree chat 
Dringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and 
:aft into the fire. John baptized all who confefled 
their fins, profeffed faith in Chrift to come, and 
reformation of life. Matt. iii. 6. But the rites of 
Baptifm, then in ufe among the Jews, correfponded 
exactly with the fcope of John's preaching, as they 
fitly reprefented both theremiffion of fins, and their 

It may be here enquired, whether the Baptifm 
of John was the fame with that of Chrift ? To 
which queftion, which indeed, is of little moment, 
we anfwer : That they differed in fome circum- 
flances, as the degree of revelation, and the gifts of 

P the 

202 Part II. SeB. I. 

the Holy Spirit, as John himfelf teftifies. Matt 
iii. ii. But they agreed eflentially, that is, as to 
their fcope, and duties prefcribed, for both had a 
refpect unto Chrift, and required the fame duties, 
viz. faith and repentance. 

Uses. Firft. what is related concerning John 
the Baptift, in the Gofpel, is confirmed by the 
teftimony of Jofephus. B. xviii. C. 7. Which 
confirms the truth of Evangelical Hiftory. 

2. Here the wifdom of God is confpicuous, 
who, previous to the miflion of Chrift, had pre- 
pared the Jews for his reception, by the miniftry of 
this holy man. 

3. Let Minifters of the Gofpel propofe to 
t'hemfelves, John the Baptift as a moft perfect ex- 
ample. And that, Firft. With refpecl: to their 
office, they are fent to prepare the way for God, 
to convert the rebellious, and to preach repent- 
ance and amendment of life, by exhorting all men 
in general, and every individual. John did the 
very fame thing, he admoniftied the whole body 
of the people, and befides this, the Soldiers, Pub- 
licans, PharifeeSy nay, even Herod himfelf. Second. 
With refpecl: to their lives, in innocence, and pu- 
rity of manners, in their food, and manner of liv- 
ing. This was what procured weight and author- 
ity to John's doctrine. The Minifters of God, 
ought therefore to conduct themfelves in the fame 

4. Let 

Upon John the Baptift. 203 

Let Chriftians hence learn, what is the fum 
of Evangelical preaching. John has taught us 
this, when he fays, Repent. The rlrft, and prin- 
cipal duty of him who profefieth to be a difciple 
of Chrift, and a citizen of his celeftial kingdom, is 
repentance and fincerity of heart. It is clear, 
from the fermons of John the Baptift, that an ad- 
miflion into the Divine Covenant, will be of no 
advantage to hypocrites, or prophane perfons. 
JVlatt. iii. 9.10. Which words have as much refpecl: 
to Chriftians, as to the Jews. The more particular 
ufes may be found, by reading the iii. chap, of Mat- 
thew and Luke, 

P 2 SEC 

204 Part II. Sefi. II. C%>. L 


Chap. I. 

That Jefus is the Mefliah. 

N r OW commences a treatife, concerning Jefus 
Chrift •, and in the firft place, indeed, we 
ihall prove. Firft. That Jefus is the Me(Tiah. Se- 
cond. We fhall treat of his Perfon. Third. His 
Office. Fourth. His Twofold State. 

Many, and invincible arguments prove, that 
Jefus is the Mefliah, out of which, we are to felect 
the principal, and thefe are either general, or fpe- 

I. It is to be fuppofed, that Jefus, in times pah\ 
dwelt upon this earth, which is fo certain, as that 
nothing can be more fo, fince the Jews themfelves, 
Heathens, Mahometans, and other adverfaries of 
the Chriftian religion confefs it. This being laid 
down, our general argument is this, Jefus muft 
either have been the MerTiah, and had his com- 
miflion from God, or he muft have been the mod 
abandoned wretch, that ever exiftcd : For no me- 
dium can be granted. Since he profeficd, that 
he was fent by God, nay, that he was the Son of 
God : But the latter cannot occur to any perfon, 


Concerning Jcfus Chrift. 205 

right in his understanding, therefore the former 
jrauft be acknowledged. 

II. That Jefus is the Merliah, may be proved 
particularly. Firft. From the circumftances which 
attended his Advent. Second. "His doctrine. 
Third. Miracles. Fourth. The events fubfequent 
to his coming. 

1. First, the circumftances of the Meffiah's 
Advent, had been formerly marked out by the 
Prophets, (a) The time of it murt happen before 
the overthrow of the Jewifh Palicy. Gen. xlix. ic. 
The tribe (Scepter) mail not depart from Judah, 
nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until his fon 
(ShiloJ come, and to him mall the obedience, or 
gathering of the people be. Which pafTage, the 
ancient Jews interpreted, as refpecting the Mef- 
fiah, but the modern Jews underftood it, of a rod 
of correction, which interpretation is erroneous, 
for the latter part of theverfe, viz. For a lawgiver, 
&c. explains the former, as will appear to any 
one who clofely looks into the words. Befides, 
the Meiliah was to come, the fecond temple being 
(landing. Hag. ii. 9. Malach. iii. 1. The Lord 
fhall fuddenly come to his temple. Likewife, at 
the end of four hundred and ninety years, after 
the return from the Babylonifh captivity. Dan. 
ix. 24. Concerning the feventy weeks. Under 
the fourth, viz. the Roman Monarchy. Dan. ii, 
4. And vii. 13. &c. But fince that particular time 
which was fixed by God, has long fince elapfed. 
we mull either fay, that the MefTiah is already 
P a come. 

2o6 Part II. Seff. II. Chap. I. 

come, or that he never will come. The fame con. 
clufion may be juflly drawn from the following cir-, 
cum fiances. 

(b) The fecond circumstance is, the place of 
his nativity, viz. the city of Bethlehem. Micah 
v. 2. But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou 
be little among the many thoufands of Judah, yet 
out of thee Shall he come forth unto me, that is 
to be ruler m Ifrael, whofe goings forth have been 
of old from everiafting. Which Prophecy, to ap- 
ply to any other but Jefus, viz. to David or Zoroba- 
bel, would be the greateSl abfurdity. 

(c) The third circumstance is the people, and 
family from which the MeSTiah was to defcend, 
viz. the people of Ifrael, tribe of Judah, and fam- 
ily of David, not when in a flourishing, but in an 
abject condition. Ifa. xi. i. and there Shall come 
forth a rod out of the ftem of JeSTe, and a branch 
ihall grow out of his roots. This is the reafon why 
this ion of David, was a name, in a peculiar manner 
aftigned unto jefus, by the Jews, as may be ob- 
ferved every where in the Gofpel. 

(d) A fourth circumitance is, his mother being 
a virgin. Ifa. vii. 14. Lo, a virgin Shall conceive, 
and bring forth a fon. 

Besides, the Prophet here fpeaks of fome ex- 
traordinary fon, .who is termed Immanuel, like- 
wife the mighty Uod. Ifa. ix. 6. .Now, the Jews 


Concerning Jtfus Chrift. 207 

can produce no perfon, to whom thefe extraordinary 
titles are applicable, but Jems Chrift. 

From thefe, and other predictions of the Pro- 
phets, it is evident, that Jefus is the Median. 
Here it is to be obferved, that there is much force 
in each of thefe prophecies, when taken feparate- 
ly, but far greater, when taken complexly, as 
they all have been fulfilled in Chrift, and in him 

The Jews object, that all the prophecies have 
not been fulfilled in Jefus. That the peace, which 
the Mefliah was to introduce, did not as yet take 
place, nor was his kingdom fo glorious and \m'u 
verfal, nor did the people of the Jews, enjoy that 
felicity which [is fo frequently mentioned by 
the Prophets. But this objection may be anfwer- 
ed with little trouble, if we but fay, Firft. That 
thefe prophecies are to be understood, in a fpirit- 
ual {tnky viz. a celeftial kingdom, and peace, 
and a new Ifrael, which is according to the fpirit, 
that is, all believing and godly perfons, which 
might be demonftrated even from the very predic- 
tions of the Prophets. Second. That all thefe 
prophecies are not as yet accomplifhed, but, that the 
time will come, when the Mefliah will rule ever 
all nations, and the Jews being again received into 
the Divine covenant, fhall enjoy the glory promifed 

II. The doctrine of Jefus Chrift, the moft holy < 
and perfect of all, and having an entire refpeci 


208 Part II. Sea. II. C%. I. 

the glory of God, could not proceed from an irn- 
poftpr, falfety pretending a divine com million. 
The Jews object, that jef:s has abrogated the 
Mofaick law. We anfwer, that if by law, we are 
to underftand the moit excellent part of the law, 
Jefus did not abolirh it, nay, he hath eftablh'hed 
•and fulfilled it. . Matt. v. 17. I did not come 
that I might break the law, but that I might ful- 
fil it. Second. If we are to underftand the ritual, 
or ceremonial law, we anfwer. Firft. That Jefus 
obferved the Mofaick rite^, Second. That God 
himfelf abolifhed them, when it was his pleafure, 
that the City and Temple of Jerufalem mould be 
demolifned. Third. If Jefus and his Apoftks 
taught, that thefe rites confidered in themfelves, 
were not at all pleafmg unto God, the Prophets 
fpeak the very fame language. Pf. i. 8. 13. Ifaiah 
i. 11. What have I to do with the multitude of 
vour facriikes P faith the Lord. And every where 
elfe. The Apoftles urged many things, againft 
the neceffity of circumciuon ^ but this rite was con- 
fined to the pofterity of Abraham only, and that 
men could be acceptable unto God, without cir- 
cumciMon, is proved even from the example of A- 
braham himfelf. Rom. iv. 7. &c. 

3. The miracles wrought by the Lord Jefus, 
prove his divine miflion, which argument we find 
Jefus himfelf principally uling. John v. 36. The 
Very works which I do, tettify of me, that the 
Father hath fent me. Which argufnent is the 
more valid, as the Jews, and other adversaries of 
the Gofpel, durfi not deny that Chr-iil wrought 


Concerning Jejus Chrijl. 209 

icles, as appears from Celfus, the writings of 
the Jews, and the Gofpel. AH that they could 
urge a^ aii j ft them was, that he performed thefe 
works by the power of magic, which is {o abfurd, 
that we need not lpend time in confuting fuch a 

4. The events confequential upon the Advent 
of Chrifr, prove his divine commilTron, viz. the de- 
ftruction of Jerufalem, and the Temple, the dif- 
periion of the Jews, the conversion of very many 
nations to the worfhip of the True God, and the 
overthrow of Idolatry. For thefe events are of fo 
extraordinary a nature, that an energy truly divine, 
the truth of the Gofpel, of the Chriftian religion, 
and confequently the divine million of Chrift, are 
invincibly proved by them, 

Uses. i. As this doctrine is the foundation of 
all religion, faith, piety, and confolation, it ought 
therefore, fmcerely to be thought upon, and incul- 
cated with ardour -, yet, fo as not to treat it in too 
fublime, or fubtile a manner ; wherefore, the argu- 
ments adduced in fupport of it, ought principally to 
be taken from Scripture, and Hiftory. Here the 
(late of the greater^ part of Chriftians, is very deplor- 
able, who know but little concerning thefe foundati- 
ons upon which their faith mould reft. 

2. S 1 n'ce it appears evident to us, that Jefus is 
the Meffiah, it remains, that we mould embrace 
him with fmcere faith, as our Redeemer, yield that 
obedience to him which he is entitled to, and ex- 

no Part II. Seff. II. Chap. II. 

peel: eternal falvation from him. For fince he is the 
Meffiah, whatever things he hath taught, muft be 
moft true, and certain, whether they conflft of pre- 
cepts, promifes, or threatnings. 

H A 

p. II 

Of the Per/on of Chrifi, 

WITH refpect to (Thrift's perfon, two things 
are to be proved. Firft. That there are 
two natures in him. Second. That thefe two con- 
ftitute one perfon.. 

I. There are two natures in (Thrift, the divine 
and human. We have already proved his divine 
nature, in our treatife upon the Trinity. There 
is no neceftity for a multiplicity of words, con- 
cerning his human nature, as it is fufficiently pro- 
ved, that Jefus was a man like unto us in all 
things, fin only excepted. Heb. ii. 17. Where- 
fore, in all things it behoved him, to be made like 
unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful, and 
faithful Highprieft, in things pertaining to God, to 
make reconciliation for the fins of the people. 
This is evident through the whole hiftory of his 
life and death. But it was neceffary that (Thrift 
fhould be man, in order that he might maintain 
familiar converfation, and intercourfe with men, 
and die for them •, as likewife, that he might afford 
us, in himfelf, a fure pledge of the refurredion, and 
a future life. 

II. These 

Upon the Per/on of Chrijl. in 

II. These two natures conftitute only one per- 
fon, i. e. one Chrift •, and therefore this union of 
natures is denominated a pergonal union. Yet, at 
the fame time, each nature hath preferved its ef- 
fential properties -, which we obferve againft our 
Lutheran brethren, who, that they might defend 
their opinion concerning the real prefence of 
ChrirVs body in the Eucharift, as alfo, its ubiqui- 
ty, or omniprefence, aflert, that the properties of 
the divine nature, were communicated to the hu- 

There have been many controverfies in the 
ancient Church, concerning the natures and per- 
fons of Chrift, occafioned by Neftorius and Eu- 
tyches. Neftorius, who was Patriarch of Conftan- 
tinople, maintained two perfons, and denied that 
the Divine nature could be born of the Virgin. 
He was condemned in the Council of Ephefus, 
anno, four hundred and thirty one. Eutyches, on 
the other hand, left he mould acknowledge two 
perfons, fixed upon only one nature, and con- 
founds the two natures into one. He was con- 
demned by the Council of Chalcedon, anno, four 
hundred and fifty one. But many are of opinion, 
that thefe controversies were only difputes about 
words, and that they were oi-iginated from the 
terms Perfon and Nature being underftood in dif- 
ferent fenfes. Nay, there have been fome, who 
thought, that the opinion of Neftorius was, indeed, 
errontous in itfelf, but that he was falfely charged 
with it. But it is of little moment to us, what 


212 Pert II. SeEl. II. Chap. II. 

Neftorius believed, providing that we maintain the 
doctrine of two natures in one perfon. 

The Fathers, who conftituted the Synod of 
Chalcedon, held that this union was effected with- 
out divifton, without feparation, without change, 
without confufion. This union is the caufe, why 
the Scripture afcribes to the perfon of Chrift, that 
which belongs to either nature, which the Scho- 
lafticks term, a communication of properties, as 
when it is faid, that the Son of God died. Acts xx. 
28. Divines add a communication of gifts, or gra- 
ces, becaufe, this union is the caufe of various gifts 
being conferred upon the human nature. 

! Uses. Hence it appears, how excellent the 
dignity of that perfon is, whom God has conftituted 
our Mediator, as he hath both God and man. Like- 
wife, the greatnefs of God's love towards man- 
kind, and how glorious the work of Redemption, 
&c. As Chrift is God, he muft be pofTefied of in- 
finite power, by which, he is able to fave all who 
believe in him. As he is man, we have in him, 
efpecially in his death and refurrection, a fure 
pledge, both of the expiation of our fins, and of cur 
future refurrection. As alfo, of his love, as he is 
our brother, like unto us, and mud therefore be mer- 
ciful towards us. See Heb. iv. 15. 16. For 
we have not an highprieft, who cannot be touched 
with a feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points 
tempted, as we are, yet without fin. 

2, Paul 

Upon the Office of Jefus Chrijl. 2 13 

2. Paul terms this doctrine, the Myftery of 
Godlinefs, 1 Tim. iii. 16. becaufe it produces 
gratitude, and love towards Chrift, in imitation of 
him, humility, &c. But as the human and di- 
vine natures are united in Chrift, fo it is the will 
o: God, that we in fome meafure, mould be par- 
takers of the divine nature. 2 Pet. i. 2. &c. viz. 
if having efcaped the corruption which is in the 
world, and being fanctified, wc are made parta- 
kers of that glory, which Chrift enjoys in the 

Chap. III. 

Of the Threefold Office of Jefus Chrijl. 

THE office of the Lord Jefus is marked out 
to us, under various characters : As Savi- 
our, Mediator, Redeemer, but he is chiefly called 
Chrift, Mefliah, i. e. anointed, which name is de- 
rived from that illuftrious prophecy of Daniel. 
Dan. ix. 25. Where the Prophet fays, that from 
the going forth of the commandment, to reftore, 
and to build Jerufalem, unto the Meftiah, the 
prince, mall be feventy weeks. But he was anoint- 
ed, in order that he might difcharge a threefold 
office : Prophetical, Sacerdotal, and Royal, which 
we obferve in opposition to the Jews, who fcarcely 
acknowledge any thing in the Meffiah, but royal 
dignity. But that this threefold office is compati- 
ble with the Meffiah, appears, becaufe the titles 
and functions of a Prophet, and Prieft, are attri- 
buted to him by the Prophets, as alfo, becaufe he 


214 Part II. Seel. II. Chap. III. 

could not be a celeftial king, unlefs he were at the 
fame time, both Prophet and Prieft, as mail be 
made appear, by what we are afterwards to obferve. 
But Divines obferve,, that the unction of Chrift 
denotes, Firft. His vocation to this threefold of- 
fice. Second. A collation of gifts, neceffiary fcr 
his undertaking it. 

These things being premifed in general, we 
come now to a particular treatife, upon thefe three 

/ L 

Of the Prophetical Office. 

FIRST. We have to prove, that it became 
the Meffiah, to difcharge this office. Second. 
Explain its nature. Third. Shew that Chrifl has 
difcharged it. 

I. The firft of thefe is evinced by three argu- 
ments. Firft. Becaufe the Meffiah is marked out 
to us, under the difcription of a Prophet. Deut. 
xviii. 15. and 18. The Lord thy God, will raife 
up unto thee a Prophet, from the midft of thee, 
of thy brethren, like unto me, unto him mall ye 
hearken. Which pafTage, the Apoftles, with the 
ancient Jews always interpreted, as refpecting the 
Meffiah, Ads iii. 22. Second. The offices of a 
Prophet were to be difcharged by the Meffiah, Ifa. 
lxi. i. 2. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, be- 
caufe the Lord hath anointed me, to preach good 


Upon the Office of J ejus Chrifi. 215 

tidings unto the meek, he hath lent me to bind 
up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the 
captives, and the opening of the prifon, to them 
that are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of 
the Lord, &c. Third. It was neceflary that the 
Merliah mould be a Prophet, in order, that he 
might be king, viz. that he might lead mankind to 
the knowledge and worfhip of God, and thus reftore 
the kingdom of God, according to the Prophet, but 
he could not othervvife accomplim this, but as & 

II. The nature of the prophetical office, may 
be fufficiently underftood, from what has been al- 
ready obferved, concerning the Prophets. For, 
Firft. They announced a doctrine, which they re- 
ceived from God, and incited men to his worfhip, 
Second. They predicted future events. Third. 
They teftified their vocation by their zeal, fanctity, 
and miracles. 

III. It remains that we would fhew that all 
thefe were requifite in Chrifi:, and that he himfelf 
was that excellent Prophet, who in times of old, 
had been promifed by God, and, Firft. Indeed, 
that his vocation to this office was from God. Se- 
cond. That he fulfilled the various parts of it. 
Third. How his vocation hath been proved, and 

1. That Jefus was called of God, to the pro- 
phetical office, appears, from Matt. iii. 1 7. This 
is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleafed, 


2i6 Part It. Sect. II. Chap. III. 

and xvii. 5. Flence J eras declares, that the pro- 
phecy of If. lxi, was fulfilled in himfelf. Luke. 
iv. 18. 21. Befides, he received the gifts which 
were neceiTary for this purpofe from God. John 
iii. 34. Acts x. 38. Where Peter fays: That God 
anointed Jefus with the fpirit and with power, and 
that in an efpecial manner, at his Baptifm. The 
Socinians afiert, that Jefus, after his Baptifm was 
received into Heaven, in order to be there inftruc- 
ted concerning the will of God, But this is a meer 

2. He difcharged the office of a Prophet, for* 
Firft. He announced a doctrine, which contains a 
moft perfect revelation of the will of God, con- 
cerning the falvation of men, the constituent parts 
of which are, articles of faith, precepts, promifes, 
and threatnings, of which we mall not at prefent 
treat particularly* We may juft obferve with 
refpect to precepts that Jefus has delivered, what, 
in the proper feme of the word, may be termed 
precepts, or commandments, and that the Gofpel 
contains real laws. Matt. v. But that he hath not 
added new precepts to the law, as the Socinians 
would have it. For whatever Chrifl prefcribed, is, 
comprehended under this commandment : Thou 
fhalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, 
and thy neighbour as thyfelf. Matt. xxii. 37. But 
the law indeed is not fo perfect as the Gofpel, if 
we consider it only as to the letter, as likewife the 
evidence of revelation, the excellency of the pro- 
mife, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit \ but if we 
attend to the internal, and true meaning of the 


Upon the Office of Jefits Chrifi, 2 1 f 

law, and ultimate intention of God, he required 
the fame things under the law, as under the Gof- 
pel. Second. Chrift as a prophet predicted future 
events, his own refurreftion, ana the advent of die 
Holy Ghoft, Jerufalem's overthrow, which was to 
happen in the very ay;e in which he dwelt upon 
earth, the confutation and perpetual duration of 
his Church : Likewife, the treafon of Judas, Pe- 
ter's denial, &x. but he difcharged this office, not 
only when upon earth, but likewife after his afcen- 
fion, by the miniftry of his Apoftles. 

3. His vocation to this office hath been confirm- 
ed by various and illuftrious methods. By the tef- 
timony of John the Baptift, which was of confid ar- 
able influence among the Jews. John i. 19, &c„ 
iii. 26. &c. by the teftimony of God the Father, 
at his baptifm and transfiguration. John xii. 28. 
By the predictions of Mofes 1 and the other Pro- 
phets. John v. 39. Search the Scriptures, and 
they are they, which teftify of me. And 46. 47. 
For had ye believed Mofes, ye would have be- 
lieved me. By the innocence of his life, in which 
he excelled the other Prophets. John viii. 46. 
Which of you convinccth me of fin ? By his zeal, 
boldnefs of fpeech, ftupendous wifdom, admira- 
ble perfpicuity in teaching : Laftly, by that di- 
vine power and energy of his doctrine, which is 
confpicuous in the gofpel. Matt. vii. 29. For 
he taught them as one having authority. Jo.. 1 
vi. 46. But efpecially by his miracles, which were 
works ftupendous, and unheard of, mod certain, 
mod frequent, and innumerable, univerfal, over 

(^ all 

2i8 Part II. St& II. C&#. III. 

all creatures performed at a fingle word, and in 
a moment of time, and all acts of pure difintereited 
benevolence. Befides, he conferred upon his Apof- 
tles and difciples, the gift of working the fame 
miracles in his name : He likewife confirmed his 
doctrine by his death, and the fhedding of his blood : 
And laftly, all his predictions were fo confirmed by 
their events, that no perfon could deny that he was 
a Prophet fent from God, this is abundantly evi- 
dent,, from the conversion of the Gentiles, extinc- 
tion of Idolatry, and other events confequential tQ 
the adminiftration of his office. 


Of his Sacerdotal Office. 

SINCE the death of Chri'ft is mod offenfive to 
the Jews, it ought principally to be "proved, 
that it became the MefTiah, to execute the office of 
n Prieft, and to undergo death, to expiate the fins 
of men. This is demonitrated, Firft. Became 
the name, or title of Prieit, is afcribed to him, 
Pf ex, 4. Thou art a Priert forever. Alfo the 
functions of a Priert, Dan. ix. 24. If. liii. ID. 
Becaufe he 'offered himfeif as a facrifice for fin, 
verfe 12. Therefore will I diride a portion with 
the great, and he mall divide the fpoil with the 
ftrong, becaufe he hath poured out his foul unto 
death, and he was numbered with lh^ tranfgreflbrs* 
and he bare the fins of many, and made inter- 
Ceffion for the tranfgrefibrs. For here the MefTiah 
is defcribed as a victim, and mention is made, 


Upon the Office J ejus thrift * 1 1 9 

both of his facrifice, and interceffion, both of which 
are the function of, and peculiar to Priefts. 

In both thefe refpects, Chrift has executed the 
office of a Prieft. For firft, he offered himfclf up as 
a real, and what may be properly termed, a proper 
facrifice unto God, by which he hath reconciled 
him unto us, and hath fatisfied for us. This the 
Socinians deny, and would have us believe, 
" That Chrift died, in order to confirm his doc- 
" trine, to afford us an example of patience, and 
• that by entering unto Heaven, by his blood he 
" might acquire the higheft power, by which he 
" might convert men from their fins, and beftow 
** upon them eternal glory." Which things in- 
deed are true, but they do not comprehend the 
whole of ChrifPs Priefthood, as they reject his fa- 
tisfaction. Thefe are confuted, Firft. From 
Scripture, which reprefents Chrift as a facrifice, 
and oblation for fins. Ifa. liii. 10. A propitiation. 
1 John ii. 2. He is the propitiation for our fins, 
Ifa. liii. We have remiftion in his blood. Eph. i. 
7. He expiated fins, which the legal facrifices 
could not do. Heb. ix. and x. All of which 
places, do reprefent, what properly fpeaking, may 
be called a real facrifice, otherwise they muft be 
explained, in a manner too fubtile and frigid. 
Second. They are confuted from the nature of the 
Sacerdotal office, for they confound it with the 
prophetical and royal, or totally lay it afide. For 
to eftablifh a doctrine, to prefide by example, to 
convert men, to forgive fins, to beftow eternal 
life, are properly functions, not of a Prieft, but of 


220 Part II. Sefl. II. Chap. III. 

a King. Befides, thefe functions do properly refer 
unto men ; whereas the facerdotal office has a re- 
ference unto God, Heb. v. Where then does the 
Vrierthood of (Thrift confift, if he hath not render- 
ed God propitious unto us. Now, the fatisfac- 
tion of Chrift, and the efficacy of his death, is 
founded, both upon the will of God, who hath 
transferred the punifhments due unto us, upon 
Chrift, and upon the dignity of Chrift's perfon. 
If it be here inquired, how could Chrift fuffer in 
our room ? We anfwer, that he offered himfelf 
freely, and obtained the higheft glory. But if it 
Be further enquired, whether God could have been 
reconciled unto us, by any other method, but the 
death of Chrift, it is not our bufinefs, to return 
an anfwer to filch queftions. It may fuffice us^ 
that God was unwilling that this mould be accom- 
plished in any other way •, but at the fame time* 
he had juft reafons why he chofe that method, which 
It does not belong to us to feareh after, 

I in- other ad of Chrift's Priefthood is intercef- 
fion. Rom. viii. 34. W 7 ho is he that condemneth ? 
It is Chrift that died, yea, rather that is rifen 
a^ain, who is even at the right hand of God, who 
affo maketh intercemon for us. Heb. vii. 25. But 
this is a figurative manner of expreffion, which 
ought not to be underftood properly, as if Chrift 
as a fiijpplicarit, poured out his prayers for us, in 
the fame manner as the Highprieft did, when he 
had entered into the Holy of Holies. The inter- 
cclTion of Chrift denotes, Firft. That his entrance 
yfto Heaven, has afllired us of our reconciliation 


Upon the Ojfice of Jefus Chriji. 2 2 1 

with God, in the fame manner, as the ancients 
were aftured, by the entrance of the Highprieft, 
into the fanctuary, that their fins were expiated. 
Second. That Chrifl's prefence before the Father, 
is of the greater!: efficacy, in rendering God pro- 
pitious unto us. The Socinians overthrow this act 
of the Priefthood. For according to them, inter- 
ceiTion fignifies nothing elfe, but that Chriil of his 
confummate power, hath procured all tilings ne* 
ceffiary for our falvation ; fo that here again, they 
confound the prieftly with the regal office, and 
contrive fuch a kind of interceffion, as refer to 
men only, but not to God» Many things have 
been difputed concerning interceffion, which we 
fhall omit, viz. whether Chriil: intercedes for ail 
finners in general, according to that paiTage, 1 
John ii. 2. He is the propitiation for our fins, and 
not for ours only, but for the fins of the whole 
world. Or for the faithful only, which he feems 
to fay, John xvii. 19. or always after the fame 
manner, and at all times, or according to both 
natures ? The term interceffion is figurative, and 
ought not therefore to be urged. 


Of the Kingly Office. 

HAT the Meffiah was to be a King, is & 
clear, that it is almofl needlefs to prove it. 
It is certain, that the name Meffiah, denotes prin- 
cipally regal dignity. For the Kings were htit of 
all annointed, and were termed annointed. The 
Qj Kinglv 


222 Part II. Seel. II. Chap. III. 

Kingly Office of the MefTiah was predicted, Dan, 
ii. 44. Zach. ix. 9. Rejoice daughter of Zion, 
thy king cometh unto thee, he is juft, and having 
falvation. And elfewhere. 

But it concerns us more deeply, to be inform- 
ed with refpect to the character, which this King 
was to fupport, or wherein the nature of his king- 
dom con fills, this being what is principally contro- 
verted, between us and the Jews. Firft. It be- 
hoved his kingdom to be univerfal over all na- 
tions. Ifa. xlix. 6. I give thee for a light unto 
the Gentiles. Dan. vii. 14. And to him (viz. the 
Son of Man) hath been given dominion and glory, 
and a kingdom, that all people and languages 
may ferve him. Pf. ii. 6. 7. Second. Spiritual 
and celeftial, which confirmed in the knowledge 
and worfhip of God. The Jews were of opinion, 
that the Median's kingdom was to be terreftrial, 
But they are eafily refuted, becaufe fuch a king- 
dom, would fcarcely have contributed any thing 
to the glory of God, and the real happinefs of 
mankind. Third. The Prophets in a fpecial 
manner, declare the nature of this kingdom, whilfl 
they attribute to the MefTiah, a variety of royal 
functions, viz. the vocation of men, legislation, 
dominion over the hearts, judgment, which func- 
tions manifeilly indicate, that this kingdom was 
not to be adminiftered by external force, or after 
the fame manner as kings ufually reign, but in a 
manner entirely fpiritual. For vocation, legifla- 
tjon, dominion over the cojifcience, judgment, 


Upon the Office of Jefus Chrift. 223 

entirely fuppofe obedience to be performed by a crea- 
ture endowed with liberty. 

These things being premifed in general, it 
plainly appears, that Jefus is that king who was 
foretold by the Prophets. He did not manifeft 
his kingdom in an inftant, or all at once, but in 
parts, and by degrees •, for before he was in the 
full pofTefuon of it, and was inverted with fupreme 
power, it was neceffary that he ihould undergo 
death. Luke xxiv. 26. Ought not Chrift to have 
fuffered thefe things, and to enter into his glory. 
And though he was king, during the time of his 
converfation upon earth, yet he did not openly 
profefs his being a king, and his royal dignity at 
length began to brighten, after his refurreclion, 
according to the predictions of the Prophets. Iia. 
liii. 1 2. Therefore will I divide him a portion with 
the great, and he mall divide the fpoil with the ftrong, 
becaufe he hath poured his foul unto death. Dan. 
ix. 26. &c, 

1. Jesus is a univerfal King, whofe dominion 
extends to all things. Phil. ii. 9. 10. 11. Eph. i. 
20. 21. &c. Matt, xxviii. 18. All power is given 
unto me, in heaven and in earth. Yet it is to be ob* 
ferved, that Chrift has not obtained a univerfal em* 
pire over all people, by his word and fpirit, and that 
his kingdom will be fully difcovered, in the laft times, 
and in the day of judgment. 1 Cor. xv. 25. 26. 
He mult reign, until he hath put all enemies under 
his feet. 

2, Hi 

224 Pwt lh St**- J?« Chap. IIL 

2. Hk is a fpiritual and ct\ eftkil Kino:, therefore 
his kingdom is called the kingdom of Heaven, the 
kingdom of God. Matt. iii. 2. John xviii. 36. 
My kingdom is not of this world. Which is con- 
firmed from the nature of the doctrine, contained 
in the Gofpel, its laws, prormfes, &c. as likewife the 
manner in which this kingdom is adminiftred, which 
is entirely fpiritual. 

3. He exercifes royal functions (a) for he calls 
men, but does not compel them hy force, or vio- 
lence. The nature of this kingdom requires th's, 
as it is feated in the heart, (b) He prefcribes to 
them fpiritual laws, (c) He rules over all crea* 
tures, as far as is neceiTary for his glory, and the 
falvation of the faithful -, but in a fpecial manner, 
he governs the Church of which he is King and 
head. He rules it by means entirely fpiritual, viz. 
by his word, fpirit, and difcioline, and defends it 
from its enemies, the world, Satan, fin, and death, 
(d) At length he will come as judge and king at 
the laftday, and then his kingdom will be finifhed. 
1 Cor. xv. 24. Then cometh the end, when he 
ihall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even 
the Father, when_he mall have put down all rule, 
and all authority and power. The meaning of 
which is, the adminiftration, by which the Church is 
|t prefent governed, mail then ceafe, or that his me- 
citorial kingdom, as Divines term it, ihall then have 
an end. 

Inquiry is made, concerning his reign of a 
ihouiand years. Rev. >;>:. 1-6, It is beyond con- 
trover fy> 

Upon the Ojjice of Jefus Chrifl. %%$ 

troverfy, that fuch a reign obtained credit, even 
from the very beginnings of the Church, as ap* 
pears from aimoft all the writings of the ancient 
Fathers, as Juftin Martyr, Tertullian, &c. Some 
have been of opinion, that Jefus would then re- 
turn into the world, that lie would reftore the Jews 
to the Land of Canaan, and that thofe who fufFer- 
ed martyrdom would rife from the dead, and reign 
together with him. The latter feems to be col- 
lected from Rev. xx. 6. They fhall be priefts of 
God, and of Chrift, and fhall reign with him 3. 
thoufand years. Others think, that the Church 
will enjoy peace, after the conversion of the Jews, 
and Gentiles, and that it will be much more pure 
than in its prefent ftate. There are others, who 
imagine, that this prophefy of John hath already 
been fulfilled. Concerning this point, it is befl to 
fpeak refervedly, and to determine nothing too 
precifely, either upon the one fide, or upon the 

Uses. i. From what has been faid, it follows, 
that the faith which embraceth Chrift, as Prophet, 
Prieft, and King, can only be deemed a true and 
faving faith, fo that they are far from true faith, 
who have a refpecT: to the prieftly office only, and 
the expiation of fins, being little mindful; that Chrift 
is a Prophet and King, whom we ought to obey. 
Thefe divide, Chrift, and deftroy the nature of 

2. Since Chrift is a Prophet, a twofold duty is- 
incumbent on us, to receiye his doctrine, and to 


226 Part II. Sea. II. Chap. 111. 

obey him. To this refer the words of the Father, 
Hear ye him •, and of Mofes, Deut. xviii. 19. 
Whofoever will not hearken unto that Prophet, I 
will require it of him. The doctrine of Chrift tends 
entirely to practice, as it confifts of precepts moft 
pure 9 and incitements mofl: powerful, 

3. From the Priefthood of Chrift, do alfo re- 
fult two particular duties. Firft. An aflured truft 
in the mercy of God. Heb. x. 19-22. Having 
therefore boldnefs to enter into the Holier!:, by the 
blood of Chrift, let us draw near with a true heart. 
Second. An earned defire after piety, for he of- 
fered up himfelf as a facrifice, that he might con- 
vert us from our nns. Heb. ix. 14. For by one 
offering he hath perfected for ever them that are 
fanctified. Neither will the facrifice of Chrift be 
of any avail to the difobedient. Heb. x. 26. 27. 
For if we fin wilfully, after that we have received 
the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more 
facrifice for fin, but a certain fearful looking for of 
judgment, and firy indignation, which mail devour 
the adverfaries. And there will no fatisfaction for 
fin remain, but what they will give in a future world. 
Therefore, we ought to be upon our guard, left we 
fhould abufe this doctrine, concerning the fatisfacti- 
on of Chrift. 

4. The fame duties are deduced from the Regal 
Office. Firft. Confidence. For fince his dominion 
is univerfal over the world, the Devil, nay, even 
Death, what could be injurious to his Church, or 
faithful followers. Second, Obedience is necefla- 


Upon the Twofold State of thrift. zif 

riiy due unto fuch a king, T and that internal and 
fincere, as he is a King entirely fpiritual -, neither 
does he reign otherwife, but as far as he emancipates 
us from the fervitude of fin, by his word and fpirit. 
But fuch as are under fervitude to the rlefh and the 
world, are not fubjeds of this King, but rebels and 
enemies, &c. 

Chap. IV. 

Concerning the Twofold State of Chrift. 

THE ftate of Chrift is twofold : Of humiliation, 
and exaltation. Firft. Concerning the for- 
mer, it is to be obferved, in oppofttion to the 
Jews, to whom it is ofFenfive, that it was predicted 
by the Prophets, efpecially in that noble prophecy, 
Ifa. liii. Where the MerTiah is defcribed, as a man 
fubject to infirmities, forfaken, obnoxious to trou- 
bles, and who, after his fufferings and death, was 
to arrive at the height of glory, verfe JO- 12. But 
when the Jews could not deny, that many pro- 
phecies referred to his ftate of humiliation, fome of 
them imagined, that there were two MelTiah's, the 
one the glorious Son of David, the other the fon 
of Jofeph, who was to furTer death : They chofe 
rather to fix upon two MelTiah's, than to acknow- 
ledge a twofold ftate. Chrift fpeaks of his two- 
fold ftate, Luke xxiv. 26. Ought not Chrift to 
have fufFered thefe things, and to enter into his 
glory ? 

The humiliation of Chrift confifts in the follow- 
ing degrees, Firft. In his nativity, which was mean 


22 8 Part II. Seel, II. G&#. IV. 

and obfeure. Second. A life of humility, ob- 
noxious to miferies. Third. The fufferings, both 
pf his body and foul, efpecially thefe agonies, con» 
cerning which, Matt. xxvi. 37* 38. Yet he did 
not fuffer the punifhments of the damned, which 
are attended with the wrath of God, and deipera» 
tion. Fourth. His death, which was necefTary, both 
to expiate our fins, and to confirm us in the faith 
of our refurreclion. Fifth. His burial, which hath 
confirmed the certainty of his death and refurrec- 

Some add, his defcent into Hell -, but no men-, 
tion is made of this in any of the ancient creeds, 
efpecially that of Nice. Some interpret this arti- 
cle, as relating to the agonies of ChrirVs foul \ 
others, to his burial ; others, to his being detained 
under the power of death •, others, to the date of 
the foul in Paradife, until the refurrection. For 
the Hebrew word denotes a place, in which the 
fouls are detained after death, which they believed 
confifted of two parts, viz. Paradife, or Abra- 
ham's bofom, and Hell. See Luke xvi. 23. &:c. 
Others thought that Chrift defcended into Limbus 
Patrum, that he might carry from thence the fouls 
of the faithful under the Old Teftament, who had 
been detained there, into Heaven ajong with him- 
felf, which is the opinion of the Romifh Church, 
to which many of our reformers have acceded, as 
Zuinglius, Bullingers, Occolampadius, nay, there 
are fome who are of opinion, that Jefus, after his 
death defcended into Hell, that he might there 
triumph over devils, and the damned which is ab- 


Upon the Tivofo!d State of Chrijl. 229 

furd, and without any authority from Scr'pture. 
This much is evident, that the foul of Chrift was in 
Paradife, and with God. Luke xxiii. 43. 46. 
To day thou malt be with me in Paradife. That 
paiTage, 1 Pet. iii. 19. By which (viz. fpirit) 
he alio went and preached unto the fpirits in prifon, 
which is adduced to prove Chriit's defcent into Hell, 
h obfcure ; it feems to denote the preaching of the 
Gofpel to the Gentiles, that were in prifon, i. e. in a" 
ftate of ignorance and condemnation. 

II. His (late of exaltation confifts of three de- 
grees. Firft. The firft was his rerurrecfrion, the truth 
of which is to be demonftrated by folid. arguments, 
fince upon this depends all our faith, which would 
be vain unlefs Chrift were riien. 1 Cor. xv. 14. 
But it is to be proved, not from the circumftances 
of his burial, and refurreclion, which are related 
in the Hiftory of the Gofpel as fome do ; for this 
would be of no weight with fuch as do not believe 
the Gofpel. But, Firft. From the fincerity of the 
teftimony of the Apoftles ; which argument Paul 
ufes, 1 Cor. xv, 6. 7. 8. 11, where he gives a de- 
tail of the apparitions of Chrift, after his refurrec- 
tion. As aifo from the evidence of a great many 
others who could not be deceived themfelves, nor 
were they inclined to deceive others. Second. 
Becaufe the accounts which they gave, obtained 
credit with men. Third. From their miracles, 
Fourth. From the admirable fuccefs which attend- 
ed their preaching, the conftitution of the Church, 
and deftruction of the Jews. ChrirVs refurreflion 
Was predicted, Pf, xvi, 10, Thou will not leave 


2$Q Part II. Se£l. II. Chap. IV, 

my foul in Hell, compared with A(5ls ii. 29 31, 
Likewife, Ifa. liii. 10. 11. We may add to thefe, 
all the predictions which relate to Chrift's fufFer- 
ings, his death and glory. The fruits of his re- 
furrection ate, Firft. The certainty of our justifi- 
cation. Rom% iv. 25. He was delivered for our 
offences, and was raifed again for our j unification. 
Second. Our fan edification, Rom. vi. 4. 5. As 
Chrift hath been raifed from the dead, even fo we 
alfo mould walk in newnefs. of life. Third. The 
firm hope of our refurrection. 1 Cor. xv. 20. 
21. 22. We ihall not dwell longer upon thefe 

2. The fecond degree is his afcenftan, the truth 
of which appears from what has been already ob- 
lerved, as alfo from the events which were confe- 
quent upon his departure. The circumftances of 
his afcenfion are related in Sacred Hiftory. It is 
fufficiently evident that this afcenfion was a real 
change of place, which overthrows the opinion of 
the Romifli Church, concerning the prefence of 
Chrift's body in the Eucharift, as alfo that of the 
Lutherans, concerning its ubiquity. Chrift afcend- 
ed unto Heaven. Firft. That he might arrive at 
his kingdom, and that all might be convinced that 
he was a celeftial, and not a terreftrial king. Se- 
cond. That he might intercede for us. Rom. 
Viii. 34. Who is even at the right hand of God, 
who alfo maketh interceffion for us. Third. That 
he might fend from thence the Holy Spirit, John 
Xvi. 7. For if I go not away, that comforter will 
not come unto you, but if I depart, I will fend 


Upon the Twofold State of Chifi. 23 r 

him unto you. Fourth. That he might elevate 
our affections, to that glory which is reported for us 
in Heaven. Col. hi. 12. Seek the things which 
are above, where Chrift fitteth at the right hand of 

3. The third degree is his fitting at the right 
hand of God. Which phrafe denotes, Firft. The 
confummate glory of Chrift, and a power equal to 
that of the Father. Second. That he received 
his power from God, both of which we learn from 
Paul. Eph. xx. 22. But we have already treated 
of Chrift's kingdom, in the preceding chapter. 
The Lutherans, not indeed all of them, in order 
to defend their doctrine, concerning ubiquity, would 
have us to underftand, by the fitting of Chrift, a 
communication of the Divine omniprefence, to his 
human nature, in confuting whom, we need not 
fpend time. 

Uses. What has been obferved concerning the 
twofold ftate of Chrift, may be confidered, either 
with refpeel: to Chrift himfelf, or with refpect to us. 
Firft. We ought to confider the wifdom of God, 
difplayed in the work of our redemption. It be- 
came our Redeemer to be pofterTed of the higheft 
power, but before he arrived at it, it was neceflary 
that he fhould humble himfelf, and fuffer. This 
was that myftery which offended the Jews. 1 Cor. 
i. 23. 24. But upon which, the whole of our fal- 
vation and hope depends. 

H • E 

232 Part II. Sett. II. Chap. IV. 

Hence appears the love of Chrift, his humility, 
obedience, as alfo his power and glory, which 
he obtained, whilft he emptied himfelf. Phil. ii. 
7. 8. 9. Therefore the fruits of both thefe ftates 
of Chrift, havearefpect unto us, it was upon our 
account and not his own, that he was born, and died, 
&c. Hence it follows, that he is perfectly able to 
fave us, fince he has fatisfied for us, and hath ob- 
tained infinite power, and that it is lawful for us, to 
have accefs unto God, with firm confidence. Heb, 
iv. 15. 1 6\ 

2. In Chrift we have a refembhnce, both of our 
ftate and vacation, for we are predeflinated to be 
conformable to him, in both his ftates. Rom. viii, 
29. It needs not therefore appear wonderful to 
us, if, previous to our arrival at that glory, which 
is promifed, we be expofed to various miferies, 
we are born, we live, we fuffer, we die, in like 
manner as Chrift did. But as the fufferings of the 
Lord Jefus, and his death, conducted him to the 
higheft glory, in like manner fhall we alfo be glori 
fied, we mail rife again, afcend unto Heaven, 
and fit upon his throne, nay, we are already ri- 
fen with, and in Chrift our head, are exalted. 
Eph. ii. 6. 1 Thef. iv. 14. 1 Tim. ii. II. If 
we are dead with Chrift, we mail alfo live with 
him. John xvii. 24. Father, I will, that they alfo 
whom thou haft given me, be with me where I 
am, which certainly muft produce admirable con- 
fblation, in adverfity, and even in the very hour 
of death. It only remains that we would tread 


Upon the Twofold State ofChrift. 233 

in the footfteps of Chrift, in patience, felf-denial, 
obedience, fanctity. 

We omit here the more particular ufes, which 
might be deduced from the nativity of Chrift, his 
life, death, burial, refurrecTion, afcenfion, and fit- 
ting at the right hand of the Father. 


*H Part II. Sefi* IIL Chap. L 


Of the Events which happened after the Afceri- 
fion of Chrift. 

O R, 

Of the Conftitution of the Churct* 

This Section confifts of five parts, viz. Firft, 
The miftion of the Holy Spirit. Second. The* 
preaching of the Apoftles. Third. The deftruction 
of the Jews. Fourth. The calling of the Gentiles. 
Fifth. The conftitution of the Church. 

Chap. I. 

Of the Miffion of the Holy Spirit. 

TH E order of the different periods of time 
now requires, that we fhould treat of fuch 
things as happened after the exaltation of Chrift. 
Firft. He lent the Holy Spirit from Heaven, ten 
days after his afcenfton. Acls ii. And after this 
manner, was the commencement of his kingdom. 
But now Jefus deferred the miflion of the Holy 
Spirit, till that particular time, in order that his 
Apoftles might be fully aftured of his reception in- 
to Heaven, and of his having obtained an univerfal 
empire •, a9 alfo,- that they might underftand that he 
was a heavenly, and fpiritual king. 

2. The 

Upon the Miffion of the Holy Spirit. 235 

2. The gifts poured 6ut upon the Apoftles 
were various, but the principal one was the gift of 
tongues. Acts ii. 3. The defign of which was, 
that they themfelves, as well as all others, might 
be convinced, that they were fent to preach the 
Gofpel, to both jews and Gentiles. Second. They 
received a more comprehenfive knowledge of the 
myfteries of the kingdom of God. John xiv. 26. 
But the Holy Ghoft, whom the Father will fend 
in my name, he fhali teacli you all things. This 
is evident, becaufe, immediately after they had 
received the Holy Ghoft, Peter and the reft of the 
Apoftles fpoke with greater clearnefs, and bold- 
nefs, concerning (Thrift's kingdom, and redempti- 
on, than they had done before. Chap. ii. iii. iv. v. 
of the Acts. t But it is to be obferved, that yet 
there were feveral points of Chriftian doctrine, 
which they were ignorant of, and concerning which, 
they were afterwards inftructed : Efpecially, that 
the Gofpel was to be preached to the Gentiles, as 
well as to the jews. Acts x. 28. Where Peter 
affirms, that God had (hewed him, that no perfon 
mould be called polluted, or unclean. Third. To 
thefe may be added, other gifts of an extraordi- 
nary nature •, as the gift of healing, &c. 1 Cor. 
xii. 8. 9. 10. For to one is given by the Spirt, 
the word of wifdom ; to another the word of know- 
ledge •, to another faith ; to another the gift of 
healing ; to another the working of miracles •, to 
another prophecy 5 to another difcerning of fpirits 5 
to another divers kinds of tongues ; to another the 
interpretation of tongues. Yet they had before 
this, received thofe miraculous gifts, while Chrift 
R 2 

2$6 Part II. Sett. III. Chap. I. 

was upon earth. Matt. x. 8. They had likewile 
a power of communicating thefe unto others, by im- 
position of hands. Acts viii. 15. and x. 44. The 
Holy Spirit furniihed the Apoftles with other gifts- 
and virtues, necefTary for the difcharge of their of- 
fice, as zeal, fleadinefs, boldnefs of fpeech, &c. 

These extraordinary gifts did not immediately 
vanifh -, for as the Apoftles conferred them upon 
others, as we juft now obferved, after the deceafe 
of the Apoftles there were men for fome time to ' 
be found in the Church, who were remarkable for 
the gift of miracles,, as is evident from ecclefiafti- 
cal hiftory. It is enquired here, whether thefe 
gifts have failed in fuch a manner, as that we are 
no more to expect them. To which we anfwer, 
Firft. That at prefent they are not viftble, which 
is certain. Second. It is iikewife certain, that God 
can endow men with thefe gifts at pleafure. Third. 
It is very probable, that they will again take 
place, when the Jews will be converted, and the 
fulnefs of the Gentiles enter into the Church of 
God. But here nothing can be precifely deter- 

Besides thefe extraordinary gifts of the Holy 
Ghoft, Chrift communicates his fpirit to all the 
faithful. Rom. viii. 14. For as many as are led 
by the fpirit of God, are the fons of God. Now, 
the ordinary gifts are thefe. Firft. Faith. Second. 
Sanctity. Third. Confolation, and Hope. But 
r hefe are moft necefTary to all men, as being falu- 
tary of themfelves •, whereas, impious and pro- 


Upon the Mijkm of the Holy Spirit. 237 

phane perfons, have fometimes received the gift of 
miracles. Matt. vii. 21. 22. We are not there- 
fore to imagine, that the Holy Spirit was given to 
the Apoftles only, the gift of the Holy Spirit has a 
refpect to all the difoiples of Chrift: But we fhalt 
treat of the operation of the Holy Spirit, when we 
come to (peak of the afliftances to falvation. 

Uses. i. The miffion of the Holy Spirit, and 
extraordinary gifts, prove the afcenfion of Chrift, 
and the divinity of the Gofpel. Peter ufes this 
argument, Acts ii. 32. 33. and v. 32. And we 
are his witnefs of thefe tilings, and fo is alfo the Holy 
Ghoft, whom God hath given to them who obey 

2. Since the ordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit 
are abfolutely necerTary to falvation, we ought to 
ufe our utmoft endeavours, in order that we may be 
partakers of them •, thefe gifts may be acquired, or 
increafed by prayers. Luke xi. 13. If ye then, 
being evil, know how to give good gifts to your 
children, how much more will your heavenly Father 
give the Holy Spirit to them that afk him. As alfo, 
by the hearing, and reading of the word of God, 
by pious converfation, efpecially a prevailing defire 
after godlinefs, vigilance, and good works : On the 
other hand, they may be diminiihed, or even totally 
loft by our neglect, &c. 

It will be like wife of advantage, to fhew how 

we might come to know whether we have the 

Spirit of God ? viz. by the effects and gifts of this 

R 3 Spirit, 

238 Part II. Seff. III., C**/. H. 

Spirit, devotion, zeal, gentlenefs, the love of our 
neighbour, purity, felf-denial, and renouncing the 
lulls of the flefh. 

Chap. II. 

Of the Preaching of the dpcjlks. 

TH E Apoftles began to preach the Gofpel, 
immediately after they had received the 
Holy Spirit, according to ChrinVs command. Mark 
xvi. 15. Go ye into all the world, and preach the 
Gofpel to every creature. Four things are to be ob- 
ferved here. 

First. Who were the perfons who preached. 
Second. To whom. 1 hird. What. Fouth. With 
what fuccefs. 

I. Among thofe who preached the Gofpel, we 
may rank, Firft. The A^oities, whomChrift him- 
felf had chofen. Matt. X. 1. 2. Likewife, the 
Seventy Difciples, concerning whom, Luke x. 1. 
Befides Evangeliite, Prophets, Bifhops, Prefbyters, 
cither called b) God himfclf, or elected by Prefby- 
ters. But we ihall treat of the vocation and office of 
thofe minifters, whether ordinary, or extraordinary, 
in that chapter which relates to the government, and 
ministers or the Church. 

II. The Gofpel was preached, Firft. To the 
Jews, who dwelt in Jerufalcm and Judea, where 
{he Ape files refided for fome time. Acts i-yii. 


Upon the Preaching of the Apoftles. 239 

Afterwards to the Samaritans, whofe converfion is 
related Acts viii. 14. 15. Laftly, to the Gentiles, 
after that the Apoftles had received a fpecial com- 
mand, by divine revelation, concerning the preach- 
ing of the Gofpel. Acts x. and xi. Therefore they 
travelled to various nations, through the whole 
world. Matt, xxviii. 19. Yet fo, as that they 
always preached to the Jews firft. See Acts xiii. 5, 
14. 46. Where they are faid, always to have ciir 
tered firft into their fynagogues, 

III. They preached the Gofpel, i. e. faith in 
Chrift, and repentance : This was the fum of their 
preaching. Luke xxiv. 47. It was fit that repen- 
tance and remiffion of fins mould be preached in 
kis name, unto all nations. "Where we may obferve, 
that the Apoftles did not treat with the Jews, in the 
fame manner, as wiih the Gentiles ; for, whereas 
the Jews had already obtained the knowledge of 
God, the Apoftles had Gnly to prove to them, 
that Jefus was the Mefliah, predicted by their 
Prophets. This is evident from their fermons to 
the Jews. Acts ii. and xiii. 17. &c. But when 
they addre/Ted themfelves to Heathens, before ex- 
horting them to believe in Chrift, they endeavoured 
to recall them from Idolatry, to the knowledge and 
worfhip of the only true God, after this, they di- 
rected them to Chrift. See Paul's fermon to the 
people of Lyftra, Actsxiv. 15. and to the Atheni- 
ans, chap, xvii. 22. 

IV. The fuccefs which attended the Apoftles' 
preaching was amazing : For a great number of 

240 Part II. Sett. III. Chap. II. 

the Jews believed in Jefus Chri{t •, very many tit? 
tic ns, who before had been deftitute of the know- 
ledge of the true God, and had lived in a ftate of 
barbarity, received the Gofpel, and became con- 
verts unto godlinefs •, innumerable churches were 
erected \ idols, and falfe oracles were banimed, ac- 
cording to the prediction of Ifaiah, ii. 18. 20. In 
that day a man mail caft his idols of filver, and his 
idols of gold, which they made, each one for himfelf 
to worfhip, unto the moles, and to the bats. Paul 
treats of this admirable fuccefs, which attended their 
preaching. Rom. xv. 18. 19. 20. Col. i. 6, 
So that the face of the world was entirely changed, 
and all things became new. 

Uses. Hence is deduced an invincible argu? 
ment, in fupport of the divinity of the Gofpel. 
For the perfons who at firft announced this doctrine, 
did all by the fole energy of preaching. They were 
perfons obfcure, attended with no fafeguards, unfup r 
ported by any power, obnoxious to poverty, miie- 
ries, perfecutions. Their doctrine contained no- 
thing that could entice, or allure men •, nay, it di- 
rectly oppofed the prejudices of both Jews and Gen- 
tiles, and the received religions of the times *, as al- 
fo, their cuftoms, pleafures and love of the world ; 
and what ought not to be omitted, fuch as embraced 
their religion, and became Chriitians, mufl undergo 
poverty, banifhment, perfecutions. 

2. What the Apoflles formerly accorrpliihed 
by word of mouth, the Doctors of the word do at 
prefent by their writings, and which they will do, 


Upon the Deft ruction of the Jews. 241 

until the consummation of ages, fo that in this re- 
fpecT:, apoftolic preaching has not ceafed. 

3. When we turn our eyes towards thofe blek 
fed times, when the world was illuminated by the 
preaching of the Apoftles, we ought to pray, that 
in thefe our prefent times, God would vouchfafe to 
fend us fit preachers of. his word, furniiried with 
the Apoftolic Spirit, who would inftrudr. others, 
and convert men from their fins unto God, which 
is the duty of Paftors and Preachers, whom God, 
in this refpecT, has fet over us as fucceffors of the 

Chap. III. 

Of the Beflruction of the Jews. 

THE Deftruction of the Jews happened Short- 
ly after the Afcenfion of the Lord Jefus, 
and the preaching of the Apoftles, with refpecT: to 
which we are to obferve. Firft. Its Predictions. 
Second. Time. Third. Manner. Fourth. Caufe. 
Fifth. Duration. 

1. The deftruclion of the Jews does not only 
denote that horrid defolation, which they under- 
went, when Jeputalem was taken by the Romans, 
their temple burned, and themfelves expelled 
their country, but likewife, their rejection ; for 
whereas, they before had enjoyed the bleftings of 
the Divine Covenant, afterwards being rejected by 
God, they were excluded from it. This memora- 

£42 Pari II. Sect. III. Chap. III. 

ble event was predicted, Deut. xviii. 49-64. and 
xxxii. in that fong of Mofes, which, befides threat- 
Dings, contains alfo a defcription of the deftrucTion, 
and rejection of that people. Likewife, Dan. ix. 
26. After thofe fixty-two weeks mall MerTiah be 
cut off, but not for himfelf, he fhall deftroy the, 
city, and fanduary, I fa. lxy. 1. 12. 

II. The time of this deftrucTion ought to be 
particularly remarked, viz. about feventy years 
after the birth of 'Chrift. For at that time, the 
Romans had waged war with the Jews, and raifed 
from the foundation, Jerufalem, and the Temple. 
So that the Jews were rejected ? immediately af- 
ter the MerTiah was exhibited, and at the parti- 
cular time, which Chrift had marked out. Matt. 
xxiv. 34. Hence it appears, from a twofold 
reafon, that Chrift was the Meffiah, fince what 
he himfelf had exprefsly predicted, was accom- 
plished, and the MerTiah muft be fent, whilft the 
Temple, City, and Jewifh Republic were Abid- 

III. The manner of this deftruclion is to be 
confidered : It was dreadful, and of fo extraordi- 
nary a nature, that the like was never feen before, 
nor heard of, as appears from Jofephus, who has 
defcribed this overthrow of the City, and Temple, 
fo as that the divinity of Chrift's predictions, can- 
not be otherwife better proved, than by the tefti- 
mony of a man, who himfelf was a Jew. Matt. 
xiv. 21. Luke xxi. 24. 26. The Jews before this 
time had underwent various calamities, under Ne- 

buch adnezar, 

Upon the Dejlruction of the Jews» 243 

buchadnezar, who carried them off captives under 
Antiochus, &c. but thefe were but as preludes, to 
this their ultimate ruin, which as yet endures, the 
Jews being diiperfed over the whole face of the 
earth, and bearing teftimony to the truth of this 

IV. We are to enquire into the caufes of this 
event. Now that God mould thus will the over- 
throw of a people, who were his only beloved, 
and of a City and Temple that was dedicated to 
himfelf, mull fome way or other depend upon the 
mod weighty reafons, and his own certain and 
determinate council. But the principal caufe of it 
was their rejection of the Meffiah. Luke xix. 42. 
&c. Neither can the Jews themfelves produce any 
other caufe, for it is certain, that after their return 
from the Babylonim captivity, they had never 
provoked God unto anger by Idolatry. Again, it 
happened, becaufe the worfhip of the true God 
was no longer to be bound unto one people, or a 
place, the ceremonial law was to be abolifhed, the 
prerogatives of the Jews were not to be fuch un- 
der the kingdom of the Mefliah, as they had for- 
merly enjoyed, and all nations were to be admit- 
ted to a participation of the Divine Covenant. 
Thus God hath openly fhewn that the Meffiah is 
already come, and that the prophecies are fulfil- 

V. It remains now that we mould enquire into 
the duration of their rejection, and whether they 
be rejected without hope of reftitution. Paul 


H4 Port II. Sett. III. Chap. III. 

moves this quefticn, and folves it. Rom. xi. i-ii. 
He anfwers, that the Jews fhall again be received 
into the Divine Covenant, v. 12. 25. &c. where he 
defcribes this converfion, as a moft illuftrious 
event. The Prophets have likewife foretold this, 
in their various predictions concerning the felicity 
of tire Jews, under the Mefliah's kingdom, which 
have by no means been fulfilled in that fmali num- 
ber of them, who returned from the Babylonifh 
captivity, or who have embraced the Gofpel, the 
reft, who form by far the greater!: part of this 
people, remaining ftill in a ftate of unbelief. 
Nay, there have been fome among both ancients, 
and moderns who have been of opinion, that the 
Jews would again be reftored to their own coun- 
try : Be/ides it is certain, that the Ifraelites of the 
kingdom of the Ten Tribes were never reftored, 
and yet the Prophets had foretold, that the houfe 
oflfrael, together with the houfe of Judah mould 
be faved, Jer. xxxi. 1. 5. 24. 31. Behold the days 
come, faith the Lord, that I will make a new cov- 
enant with the houfe of Ifrael, and with the houfe 
of Judah. Ezek. xxxvii. 16. 18. &x. But if any 
one confiders the prefent ftate of the Jews, he will 
obferve this, which merits the greater!: attention, 
viz. that this people, though banifhed and refera- 
ble for the fpace of feventeen centuries, yet re- 
main diftincl: from all others, and have not chang- 
ed their ancient inftitutions, which is a plain indi- 
cation, that God has referved them, for more hap- 
py times. 


Upon the Bejf ruction of the Jews. «45 

Uses. i. The deftruction of the Jews in gen- 
eral, proves the exiftence and providence of 
God, fince it has been exprefsly predicted by him, 
in particular, it proves that Chrift is the Meftiah 
who was promifed : Nay, the Jews being eve- 
ry where difperfed, though adverfaries to the 
Gofpel, prove the truth of it, and are witneffes 
of the antiquity, integrity and truth of the 
books of the Old Teftament, beyond all excep- 

2. It is our duty to invoice the God of Ifrael 9 
with fervent fupplications, to commiferate that peo- 
ple, to entertain an affectionate regard towards 
them. Rom. ix. 1. 2. &c. xi. 28. As alfo to ufe 
our utmoft efforts to remove thoie offences, which 
alienate them from the Chriftian faith, which in- 
deed are grievous, and abound with Chriftians, 
as idolatry, impiety, and divisions. 

3. Among the various examples of divine juf- 
tice, none ever exifted, fitter to beget within us the 
fear of God, than the deftruction of the Jews. 
For if God did not fpare this people, with whom 
he had entered into covenant, much lefs mall he 
fpare up.. Rom. xi. 21. 22. For if God fpared not 
the natural branches, take heed, left he alfo fpare 
not thee. 

4. The deftruction of the Jews is an argument 
for the lait judgment* — As alfo a fpecimen and 
refemblance of it. Matt. xxiv. And ought there- 
fore to excite us, to vigilance and piety, v. 42. 


246 Part II. Sect. III. Chap. W, 

Watch therefore, for ye know not in what hour yoiir 
Lord will come. 

Chap. IV. 

Of the Calling of the Gentiles, 

P ■ AHE Jews being rejected, the Gentiles were 
JL called to a participation of the Divine Cove- 
nant. Concerning the vocation, three things are 
to be obferved, 

I. That it was clearly predicted, which jnufl be 
proved in a folid manner, on account of the Jews'. 
Deut. xxxii. 21. 43. And I will move? them to 
jealoufy, with thofe which are not a people, I will 
provoke them to anger vfjth a foolifh nation. 
Pf. Ixvii. 31. Princes mall come out of Egypt, 
Ethiopia (hall foon ftretch out her hands unto God. 
Pf. lxxxvii. 4. 5. And xcvi. 7-9. Ifa* ii. 1. 2. 
And it mail come to pafs in the laft days, that all 
nations mall flow unto it, and xlv. 6} Hi. 10. lv. 
1.2. Joel ii. 32. Whofoever mail call upon the 
name of the Lord mail be faved, compared with 
Rom. x. 12. 13. Befides it was but fit that as 
God is the Creator of all men, all nations mould 
be called to a participation of his covenant. More- 
over the various difperfions of the Jews, the provi- 
dence of God procuring them, paved the way for 
this converfion of the Gentiles. 

II. But though various and clear productions 
were extant, concerning this matter, yet it was a 


Upon the Calling of the Gentiles. i^y 

myftery unknown before the Advent of Chrift. 
Eph^ iii. 31. Therefore the Jews were filled with 
indignation, when they beheld the Gentiles put 
upon an equal footing with themfelves. Of this 
very many inftances may be found in the hiftory 
of the Apoftles ; nay, this was a myftery to the 
Apoftles themfelves, and a divine revelation was 
necefTary, before they could be brought to go to 
the Gentiles, and converfe with them with equal 
freedom, as with the Jews. Acts x. xi. Although 
they had previoufly received the exprefs mandate 
of Chrift, to preach the gofpel unto them. Mark 
xvi. 15. 

III. The Gentiles were not called of Chrift 
himfelf, for he was not willing, while upon earth, 
that the Gofpel fhou'ld be preached to any but the 
Jews, left he ftiould offend them. Matt. x. 5. 6\ 
Go not into the way of the Gentiles. And xv. 24, 
But it was afterwards preached to them by his 
Apoftles, whom he comrnifTioned to go to the va- 
rious nations of the world, after he had afcended 
unto Heaven, and obtained an univerfal dominion. 
Therefore he furnifhed them with the gift of 
tongues, and was willing that the Chriftian Doc- 
trine mould be more efpecially delivered in the 
Greek language* as being moft common. How- 
ever, this vocation was not accomplished in an in- 
ftant, but by degrees, for the Apoitles did not im- 
mediately travel abroad, but continued preaching 
for ibme time in Judea. Afterwards, receiving a 
commimon from God himfelf, they went into va- 
rious countries, and at length the incredulity of 


248 Part II. Seel. III. Chap. IV. 

the Jews, gave occafion to the increafe of the 
Chriftian Church, by the acceftion of the Gentiles. 
Concerning this vocation, fee Rom. x. 12. 13. &c. 
and xv. 19. Col. i. 23. 

Uses. In the calling of the Gentiles, we ought 
to acknowledge the lingular providence of God, 
the accomplifhment of his promifes, and confe- 
quently the truth of the Chriftian religion. 

2. We ought to celebrate the Divine goodnefs, 
who hath called us, who were formerly Gentiles, 
to a participation of his covenant. To this refers 
that pafTage, Eph. ii. 11. 12. 14. Wherefore re- 
member, that ye being in time pad Gentiles in the 
flefh — Ye were without Chrift — But now, in Chrift 
Jefus, ye are made nigh, by the blood of Chrift. 

3. Our duty here confifts efTentially in con- 
ducting ourfelves in a manner fuitable to fo holy a 
vocation. Eph. iv. 17. 18. Let us not walk as 
other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds, 
being mindful from whence we have been taken. 
Rom. xi. 22. &c. Otherwife it were better for 
us to have remained in a ftate of heathenifm, having 
to undergo more grievous punhliments in the day of 

4. God ought to be implored, to accomplifli 
that work which he hath in former times begun, 
by converting all nations to the faith, fo that all 


Upon the Confiitutton of the Church. 249 

men, with one voice, might glorify God, the Father 
of our Lord Jefus Chrift. 

Chap. V. 
Concerning the Conjlitution of the Church. 

WITH refpecl to the Conftitution of the 
Church, the following particulars are to be 

I. That it was compofed of Jews and Gentiles, 
.fo that all people were indifcriminately called, 
and received admiffion into the Church, by faith. 
So that both Jews and Gentiles constitute but one 
people. Eph. ii. 18. 19. For through him we 
both have an accefs by one fpirit, unto the Father, 
now, therefore ye are no more ftrangers, and for- 
eigners, but fellow citizens with the faints, and of 
the houfhold of God. Yet the Jews, at nrft, ob- 
tained the preference, at leaft, in fome refpects : 
For the firft Bifnops, and almoft all teachers were 
chofen from among them. 

II. In order that men might join in union with 
the Church, it was necefTary that they mould be 
called to the faith, ar i be taught the way of falva- 
tion, by the preaching of the Gofpel. Therefore, 
vocation is an ordinary mean of falvation, and 
that moft agreeable to the nature of ChrirVs king- 
dom, as being entirely fpiritual, and the nature of 
man, as endowed with reafon and liberty. Hence 
a Christian fociety is termed a Church, i. e. an af- 

S femblv, 

t.$o Part 11. Sect. III. Chap. V. 

fembly of men who have been called *, concerning 
which vocation Chrift treats, Matt. xxii. 3. &x. in 
the marriage parable. It is ufually diftinguifhed 
into external, which is by the word of God •, and 
internal, lefs properly fpeaking, which is by the 
fpirit. So that the former acts objectively as Di- 
vines term it : But the latter fubjedtively, as it ex- 
cites men, and difpofes them to embrace the Gof- 

III. None were received into the Church, by 
the Apoftles, but fuch as anfwer the divine call, 
fpontaneoufly embraced the Gofpel, and made an 
open profeflion of their faith in Chrift, by a pub- 
lic renunciation of Idolatry, Satan, the world, and 
its pomps, the flefh, and fin. Which profeflion 
W'as indeed made, previous to the receiving of 
Baptifm, and after a very folemn manner. And 
was moil facred, as appears from Ecclefiaftical Hif- 

IV. It ought not to be omitted here, that the 
Church was almoft every where conftituted, and 
founded in the midft of perfecutions, and thofe moft 
grievous, which fo happened by the peculiar provi- 
dence of God, fince this very circumftance was to 
be a moft valid argument, in fupport of the truth 
and divinity of the Chriftian religion. 

V. Lastly, it is to be obferved that wherever 
a certain number of men were to be found, who 
believed in Chrift, thev immediately affembled in 
one body, and formed particular congregations, 


Upon the Conftiiution of the Church. 2 5 1 

for the celebration of divine worfhip, and the ex- 
ercife of the other duties of piety. Befides, the 
Apoftles, or their deputies, confHtuted a certain 
and fixed form of a Church, by eftablifhi ng Bi- 
mops, and Prefbyters, and prefcribing a certain 
form of government and difcipline, which is tefti- 
fied by the book of the Acts, and the Hiftory of 
the Ancient Church. But all thefe things which 
relate to the order of the Church, mall be difcuffed 
more accurately in their proper place, let it fuffice 
to have obferved thefe things, in our way, which 
relate unto the primative conftitution of the Chriftian 

Uses. i. The conftitution of the Church, ar- 
gues the divine origin of the Doctrine of the Gof- 
pel, efpecially if we reflect, that Jefus predicted 
this event, and by what means his Church was 
founded and enlarged* We behold it as yet {land- 
ing, and it will ftand unto the end of the world. 
Matt, xvi 18. For the gates of hell mail not pre- 
vail againft it. 

2. Hence appears the neceflity of a divine call, 
and confequently of the miniftry, and preaching 
of the word. This hath been, and ever will be 
the ordinary way to arrive at faith, and falva- 

3. It is our duty to attend to our vocation, and 
ftate, and to walk worthy of it. Eph. iv. 1. 
Now the nature of our duty in this refpect, as 
likewife what they are to expect, who are only 

S 2 externtl 

252 Part II. Seft. III. Chap. V. 

external members of the Church, may be learned 
from the parable of the marriage. Matt. xxii. Eph. 
iv. as alio from what was obferved in the prima- 
tive Church, previous to the adminirtration of Bap- 

4. It is entirely neceflary to aflbciate with the 
Church, as members to make a public profeflion 
of faith, to fubmit to the Government of the 
Church, and to maintain union with it, providing 
it be pure in worfhip and doclrine, and does not 
tolerate vice. This we remark againft fuch as 
withdraw from religious aflbciations, and external 


Upo)\ Faith* 


Of the Doctrine which is preached in th$ 

Chap. I. 

Of Faith. 

THE constituent parts of the Christian doc» 
trine, are duties, promifes, and threatnings. 
The duties confift of faith, repentance, and good 
works. Which three are fo clofely connected, and 
combined together, as to constitute only one du- 
ty. For the whole of our duty is fometimes re- 
prefented by the term faith, fometimes by repent- 
ance, and at othertimes by obedience : And faith 
includes repentance and good works. Yet it will 
be of advantage, to treat of thefe three feparately, 
and indeed, we mall fir ft begin with faith. 

Faith is not always understood in one fenfe in 
Scripture, for befides, that in its proper Significa- 
tion, it denotes fidelity, or veracity, nay, fome- 
times hope. It oftentimes denotes the object of 
faith, i. e. the Gofpel, and the doctrine which 
faith embraceth, as Gal. i. 23. more frequently, 
it fignifies that act of man, by which he receives 
the Gofpel ; but here faith is a certain inward 
perfuafion, by which we fincerely, and with our 
whole heart, do embrace the doctrine contained in 
the word of God, as true, but efpecially Chriit as 
S 3 our 

254 Part II. Seff. IV. Chap. I. 

our Saviour. But, in order that we may arrive at 
a more accurate knowledge of the nature of faith, 
let us confider, Firft. What is the object of faith, 
or what are the things which we ought to believe. 
Second. The acts of faith, or what it is to believe. 
Third. Its effects. 


I. The general object of faith, is the word of 
God, and whatever things are contained in it, ef- 
pecially thofe articles of faith and precepts, without 
which God cannot be worfhipped •, but the fpecial 
and moft proper object of Christian and faving faith, 
is Chrift the Saviour and Redeemer. John xvii. 3, 
This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the 
only true God, and Jefus Chrift whom thou has 
fent. Acts iv. 12. Neither is there faivation in any 

II. The acts of faith, are knowledge and per- 
fuafion, or aflent. Knowledge is an antecedent act 
of faith, or its prerequifite •, for in order that we 
might believe, it is quite neceiiary that we mould 
have a previous knowledge of the thing which we 
are to believe, as being true ; but this thing we 
could not aiTent to, without having the know- 
ledge of it, as alfo of the arguments and reafons 
which prove its certainty. Right reafon teacheth 
us, that fuch a knowledge is requifite 5 for as a 
thing entirely unknown, cannot be the object of 
our defire, fo' without knowledge there can be no 
faith. The word of God confirms this, Rom. x. 
14. 17. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by 
the word of God. For this reaion, faith is termed 


Upon Faith. 


knowledge. John xvii. 3. Where yet we are not 
to underftand a bare knowledge, but fuch as pene- 
trates the heart and affections, and is accompa- 
nied with a fuitable practice. The Church of 
Rome teacheth, that it is fufficient for the laity or 
common people, to believe what the Church be- 
lieves, and this they term an implicit faith, nei- 
ther do they grant them the liberty of examining 
doctrines. Which doctrine, Firft. Oppofes right 
reafon, and is verv abfurd. Second. It encou- 
rageth ignorance and flothfulnefs, and averts men 
from the ftudy of religion. Third. It placeth 
faith upon an uncertain foundation, nay, deftroys 
the very nature of it ; for how will the laity un- 
derftand what the Church believes, or hath deter- 
mined mould be believed, or what particular 
Church they ought to believe. Fourth. It is con- 
trary to Scripture, which exhorts men to fearch 
into, and examine doctrines, form a judgment 
concerning them, and ftill to make proficiency in 
knowledge. 1 John iv. 5. Believe not every fpirit, 
but try the fpirits, whether they be of God. 1 
ThefT. v. 21. Prove all things, and hold faft thai 
which is good. 

2. Persuasion, or aflent, and confidence, is 
an effential act of faith, by which we believe with- 
out doubt, that whatever things are related in the 
Gofpel are moft certain, efpecially, by which we 
embrace with all our mind, Chrilt, and the bene- 
fits purchafed by him, and repofe all our hope in 
him only. In order to a more perfect undemand- 
ing of this, there are two acts of faith, which 


256 Pari II. Sect. IV. Chap. I. 

ought to be diitinguifhed, the former refpecting 
the understanding, the latter the will and affec- 
tions. The act of the underltanding is that per- 
fuaflon, by which we believe the Gofpel to be a 
doctrine moft certainly true, and at the fame time, 
of fuch moment, that upon it alone depends our 
chief happinefs. Therefore it is necefTary to ac- 
knowledge, net only the truth, but alfo the ex- 
cellency and utility of that doctrine. The act of 
the will, is that by which we adhere to Chrift, and 
his doctrine, as our chief good, eiteem him as the 
moft amiable of objects, defire the fruition of him, 
and place our dependence on him only. This latter 
act of faith, is that which properly constitutes the 
eflence of faith, and diftingui fries thofe which are 
truly faithful, from the prophane, and hypocrites, 
who are not quite destitute of that knowledge, nay, 
ibmetimes that purfuafion which appertains to the 
underltanding only. We may hence fee, how great 
the ncceiiity of faith mult be, and why God requires 
it of us, viz. became it is entirely requifite, on 
man's part, willingly to receive the benefit offered 
him by God, for none can pofTibly enjoy it againit 
his will. 

III. There are three effects of faith. Firft. A 
public profeffion. Rom. x. 10. For with the 
heart man believeth unto righteoufnefs, and with 
the mouth confeilion is made unto falvation, 
Matt. x. 32. 33. He that will confefs me before 
men, him will 1 alfo confeis before my Father. 
Chrift therefore willed, that all who embraced 
the Gofrel, fhould receive F>aptifm, that by this 


Upon Faith. 257 

folemn rite, men might teftify that they were 
Chriftians. Neither is it poffible, that any perfon 
who believes in God, mould not publicly de- 
monstrate his faith •, this profeffion is the more ne- 
ceffary, becaufe, by this mean, the glory of God, 
and edification of men, are more effectually pro-, 

2. Obedience, and obfervance of the precepts 
of Jefus Chrift, which is proved, Firft. From the 
word of God, Gal. v. 6. In Jefus Chrift, neither 
circumcifion availeth any thing, nor uncircumciflon, 
but faith, that worketh by love, and Jas. ii. 14. Se- 
cond. From the nature of faith, it is imporTible that 
any perfon who believes in God with his whole heart, 
and fincere affections, flies to him for refuge, and 
expects falvation from him, fhould not love him and 
be difpofed to obey him. Faith cannot be one mo- 
ment fincere, without a purpofe of obeying Gcd, 
therefore it is by no means to be feparated from 
works, and they are in a mod: grofs and dangerous 
error, who feign to themfelves, I know not what 
kind of faith to term it, which is not attended with 
an ardent defire after obedience. 

3. The third effect is reliance, or confolation. 
Reliance is not always underftood in the fame 
fenfe, for it may be considered, either as an effem- 
tial act of faith, or as its effect. If by rejiance 
we understand that perfuaflon by which we believe 
that Child: is the Saviour of all men, who come 
unto him, fuch reliance, or afTurance, is fo effential 
to faith, that without it there can be no faith : But 


258 Part II. Sett. IV. Chap. I. 

if it denotes that peace and tranquility of con- 
fcience, which arifes in the mind, from a fenfe of 
the Divine favour, when we are firmly aiTured, 
that we are in a ftate of falvation, fuch a reliance 
is the effect of faith. See Rom. v. 1. &c. where 
Paul defcribes the excellent effects of this alTur- 
ance. But in order to attain this, it is necelTary 
we mould difcern within us the marks and effects 
of a true and faving faith. For whoever is defti- 
tute of thefe, precipitately and falfely confides in 
God. But it ought to be obferved, that this aflur- 
ance, i. e. peace, or confolation, is not at all times to 
be found in every pious perfon, and that there are 
many endowed with fincere piety, who yet are fome- 
times deftitute of it, and pafs over life in fears and 

In order that we may comprehend this argument 
more fully, it remains, that we mould confider the 
more celebrated and principal divifions of faith : 
And firit, indeed, there are two divifions mentioned 
in Scripture, the former diftinguifheth faith into its 
various degrees, the latter feparates a true, from a 
falfe faith. 

In the former refpect, the Scripture divides 
faith into firm, and infirm, or believers into weak 
^nd fkrong. But now faith may be denominated 
weak, or ftrong, with refpect to its requifites al- 
ready mentioned, viz. with refpect to knowledge ; 
thus they are faid to be weak in the faith, who 
thought it unlawful to eat particular meats. Rom. 
xiv. With refpect to perfuafion, as Mark ix. 24. 

I believe 

Upon Faith. 259 

I believe, Lord help mine unbelief. John xx. 15. 
"With refpect to obedience, fuch is the faith of 
thofe, whofe obedience is performed imperfectly, 
and is attended with a conflict. With refpect to 
confolation, little or nothing of which is at fomc 
times to be found even with the godly. Yet it is 
to be obferved, that faith, though weak, may be 
acceptable unto God, and true faith. Therefore, 
Paul exhorts to bear with fuch as are weak in the 
faith, and to account them as brethren. So that 
thofe who offend them, do fin againft God. Rom. 
xiv. 15. 1 Cor. viii. 12. Yet, here we ought 
fully to underftand, in what {tn{Q faith may be faid to 
be weak, viz. when it does not proceed from ma- 
lice, nor voluntary ignorance, nor is attended with 
perfeverance in ignorance, which might be over- 
come, nor in fin, or ff it daily becomes ftronger ; 
otherwife, weak faith is not to be confounded with 

In the latter refpect, the Scripture diftinguifheth 
between a living and a dead faith. Jam. ii. 20. 
A living faith, is that which is feated in the heart, 
and affections, and produceth its genuine effects, 
but a dead faith is directly oppofite to this. So 
that, according to James, the fincerity of our faith 
is principally to be eftimated by our works. Be- 
fldes, this divifion of faith into living and dead, is 
not a distinction between faith in general, and its 
different fpecies, as if a dead faith could be called 
faith. There are fome who think, that a dead 
faith may be termed faith -, and fay, that it may be 
proved from the words of James, chap. ii. 19. 


26o Part II. Se5f. IV. Chap. I. 

Thou believeft that there is one God, thou doft 
well. But in this they err: For it only follows, 
from that paffage in James, that knowledge, and 
perfuafion, with refpect to the exigence of God, is 
a tiling, indeed, good in itfelf, and a requifite of 
faith, but this does not constitute the eflence of faith, 
tut that affent, both of the understanding and will, 
we have already mentioned. Whoever are deftitute 
of this (but all are deftitute of it, who are deftitute 
of works) are deftitute of faith. 

Faith is commonly divided into hiftorical, and 
temporary, juftifying, and a faith of miracles. 
To begin with the laft, which conftitutes a dif- 
tincl and extraordiny fpecies of faith, it is twofold, 
the one is termed active, as when a perfon believes 
that he is about to work miracles, by a divine 
power. Matt. xxi. 21, If ye have faith, and 
fay unto this mountain, be thou removed, and 
be thou caft into the fea, it (hall be done. The other 
again is paffive, as when a perfon believes that 
God is about to work a miracle upon his account ; 
this faith Chrift required from thofe upon whom, or 
in whofe favour, he wrought miracles. Mark ix. 
23. If thou canft believe all things are poflible to 
him that believeth. But this fpecies of faith does 
not properly belong to this place, as being extraor- 
dinary, and not of itfelf falutary. 1 Cor. xiii. 1.2. 
3. and xiv. 22. 

That faith is termed hiftorical, by which we 
believe the Gofpel to be true \ but which is defti- 

Upon Faith. 161 

tute of a real aflent, and obedience, to which refers 
thatpaffage, James ii. 19. 

A Temporary faith, is that which endures but 
for a feafon, and fails when temptations come the 
way. Matt. xiii. 21. Which words of Chrift do 
vindicate, that this faith may be attended with fome 
degree of goodnefs, and Sincerity, a fenfe of joy, and 
a degree of zeal, but being not well enough rooted, 
fails in temptation •, fuch is the faith of thofe, who 
indeed receive the Gofpel, but have not well exa- 
mined themfelves, in order that they might be allur- 
ed, whether they can bear the crofs, and renounce 
the world, and the flefh. 

Justifying and faving faith we have already 
treated of. A perfon may eafily underftand the op- 
pofites of faith, who has maturely confidered the 
true nature of it. 

For we may eafily understand, from what has 
already been obferved, what are the oppofites of 
faith, viz. ignorance, doubtfulnefs, incredulity, 
denial of the truth when known, difobedience, 
falfe confidence. Yet it ought to be obferved, 
that fome authors, efpecially Limburgius, diftin- 
guifh the oppofites of faith into two kinds, the 
one in excefs, and the other in defect. Which 
diftinction is taken from the Ariftotelian Method, 
and is not accurate, for properly fpeaking, there 
is no oppofite of faith to be granted, in point of 
excefs. For neither faith, nor any other virtue, 
can offend in this refpect. Credulity, and two 


262 Part II. Sett. IV. Chap. I. 

much confidence, which are ufually termed oppofites 
of faith in excefs, are things entirely different from 
true faith. For when a (inner, being deftitute of 
true faith, and repentance, applies to himfelf the 
promifes which were only intended for the faithful, 
this is a falfe perfuafion, and a moil: grofs and dan- 
gerous error, but has nothing in it, in common with 
true faith. 

Uses. i. This do&rine is of the greater! uti- 
lity, nay, neceflity, and therefore we ought to ufe 
our utmoft efforts to arrive at a comprehensive 
knowledge of its nature. Many have entertained 
the mod dangerous, and falfe notions concerning it, 
fuch as thofe who imagine, that fimple knowledge, 
or a bare profeffion, or reliance on the mercy of 
God, are fufficient, without obedience and amend- 
ment of life. 

2. Let us examine whether we are in the faith, 
fince they muft neceffarily perifh eternally, who are 
deftitute of it. The tokens by which it may be 
known, are evident, from what we have already pb- 

(a) Knowledge. Therefore they are deftitute 
of faith, who dwell in ignorance, who have no deftre 
to attain the knowledge of the truth, and who do 
not read the Scriptures. 

(b) Persuasion. Which is not to be found in 
the minds of many, or at leaft in a low degree -, 

* very 

Upon taith. 263 

very few embrace, and receive Chrift, as they 

(c) Obedience, and an external profeflion, not 
only of religion, but of piety. Now if we are to 
judge of faith by men's works, it is plain, that very 
many are totally deftitute of it. 

(d) Reliance, or aflurance. Here many de- 
ceive themfelves, who imagine, that faith confifts in 
believing and confiding, that their fins are remitted 
through Chrift, let them lead what manner of life 
they will. Which confidence is prefumptuous and 
falfe, and infallibly leads to deftruction. Therefore 
every Minifter mould be at great pains, to eradicate 
this pernicious opinion, out of the minds of their 

3. Men ought to be exhorted to the attainment 
of true faith, both by requeuing it from God, who 
is its author, and applying thofe means which 
terid to produce, prefer ve, and increafe it, fuch as 
reading, and meditating upon the word of God, the 
ftudy of a good confcience, which, whoever rejects, 
he muft neceflarily make fhipwreck of faith. 1 Tim, 
i. 19. 


264 Part II. Sett. IV. Chap. II. 

Chap. II. 
Of Repentance. 

THIS treat ife confifts of two parts •, the former 
of which refpects the neceflity of repentance, 
and the latter explains its nature. 

I. That repentance is neceffary, in order, that a 
man being in a ftate of iln, might obtain the favour 
of God, is proved. 


1. From the word of God, where three particu- 
lars refpecting the necefTity of repentance, are 
to be obferved (a) that it is exprefsly defcribed 
both in the Old and New Teftament. Ezek. 
xxxiii. 11. As I live faith the Lord God, I have 
no pleafure in the death of the wicked, but that 
the wicked turn from his way, and live, Matt, 
iii. 2. and iv. 7. Acts ii. 38. and iii. 19. Re- 
pent therefore, and be converted, that your fins 
may be blotted out. (b) That it is prefcribed, as 
the only method of avoiding the Divine wrath. That 
pafTage, Ezek. xxxiii. 1 1 . plainly fuppofes the 
death of finners, if they do not repent. Likewife, 
Luke xiii. 3. Unlefs ye repent, ye mail all perim. 
Acts iii. 19. (c) That repentance is the fcope of 
Evangelical preaching. Acts xvii. 30. And the 
times of this ignorance Qod winked at, but now 
commandeth all men, every where to repent. 
And xxvi. 20. And a condition, without which, 
none can be admitted, to a participation of the 
Divine Covenant, which appears very dearly, 


Upon Repentance, 265 

from Matt. 10. Every tree which bringeth not 
forth good fruit, is hewn down and eaft into the 

2. If we look into the nature of the thing itfelf, 
it will appear, that repentance is fb neceflary, that 
without it there can be no faith, no religion, no 
falvation 5 for it cannot be conceived, how a (inner 
fhould obtain the pardon of his fins, who does not 
fincerely fly Unto God, and has no defire after the 
enjoyment of his love* Again, it is impoflible for 
a perfon to fly unto God, who is not deeply con- 
cerned, for the fins which he has committed, neither 
can he be fenfibly affected with this trouble, without 
renouncing fin. 

II. WiTk refpeft to the nature" of repentance, 
it is fometimes termed in Scripture, converfion$ re- 
pentance, regeneration ; which terms, in general, 
denote a deep concern for fin, as alfo a firm pur- 
pofe of amendment of life, and a return to a better 
underftanding. But in order to a more accurate 
knowledge of the nature of repentance, it is to be 

1. That it contains a fenfe of fin, not a general, 
vague, and confufed fenfe, but fpecial, and of fuch 
a nature, as places before our eyes the magnitude 
and number of our fins. 

2. Without fuch a knowledge as this, there 
can be no true fenfe of fin, nor can there be any 

T real 

a 66 Part II. Set!. IV. Chap. II. 

real repentance. The acts of repentance are as 
foilow : 

(a) Sorrow, proceeding from the confedera- 
tion, both of the vilenefs and attrocious nature of 
fin, as alfo of the evil, and punifhment which we 
have brought upon ourfelves by finning. But the 
more intenfe this forrow is, the greater difcovery 
will it afford of true repentance •, yet it is not al- 
ways found intenfe, efpecially in the beginning of 
converfion, they grieve more for their fins who 
have made farther advances in piety. Yet that 
trouble may be acceptable to God, provided that 
it be fincere, and is attended with an averfion to 
fin, which is a mofl certain mark of real repent- 

(b) Confession of fin, without which there 
can be no remiilion. Prov. xxviii. 13. He that 
covereth his fins fhall not profper, but whofo con- 
fefleth and forfaketh them, fhall find mercv. 1 
John i. 9. If we confefs our fins, he is faithful and 
jui'l to forgive us our fins. But our fins muft be 
confeiTed, not only in general, but particularly, 
fo that we may recount in the prefence of God, 
the principal fins which we have committed, and 
which commute us moft guilty. For this it of 
the [/reateit. utility, in making us fennble of for- 
row, it caufes us to be more afhamcd of our fins, 
and fills us with greater abhorrence againit them ; 
but they ought to be cbnfeffed before God, nay, 
fornetimes before our neighbours, or the Church, 
if we have offended our neighbour, or before the 


Upon Repentance. 26 7 

tailors of the Church, if confcience be galling to 
us, or we (land in need of their admonition. 

(c) Faith in the mercy of God through Chrirc. 
For where there is no hope of pardon, there could 
be no room for repentance, neither is there any 
hope of pardon, but by Jefus Chrifl, who has expi- 
ated our fins. Where there is no hope of rernifhon, 
there can be no repentance. ' Pf. cxxx. With thee 
there is forgivenefs, that thou mayfl be worshipped 

(d) Conversion, by which we depart from 
fin, and cherifh the mofl ardent defires after holi- 
nefs. Ifa. i. 16. 17. Which two are fo clofely 
combined, that they are infeparable, and fo ne- 
cefiary, that without them there can be no finccre 
penitence ; for it is impoflible for a perfon to 
grieve for his fins, who is jufl fetting about to 
commit them. True contrition produceth aver- 
fion and hatred of fin, as likewife a fincere purpofe 
Of amendment. But that we may more fully 
comprehend, wherein the eflence of repentance 
confiils, the four following particulars are to be ob- 

1. That every contrition for fin is not real re- 
pentance •, for there are fome who grieve for their 
fins, but not according to godlinefs. 2 Cor. vii. 
12. For godly forrow worketh repentance unto 
falvation, not to be repented of, but the forrow 
of the world worketh death. But becaufe they 
T 2 have 

168 Part II. Seft. IV. Chap. II. 

have incurred certain embarraflments, as temporal 
puniihments, defhonour, and the like. 

2. Every amendment or change of life, is not 
a fign of real repentance •, for many defift from 
the commiffion of certain fins, and ih fome meafure 
conform their morals to virtue, not from a love 
to piety, and deteftation of fin, but from other 
caufes ; as for ihftaftce* becaufe their particular fla- 
tion in life, their age, or a defire of popular fame T 
do require it. 

3. Conversion is not fincere, unlefs we abftain 
from all fins in general, as far as is poffible, efpecial- 
ly fuch as we are mod addicted to. This is one of 
the principal marks of repentance. 

4. In order to a true repentance, it is necefiary 
that we fhould make reftitution if pofTible, for the 
evil which 'we have committed by finning, both 
with refpect to ourfelves and our neighbour, as 
when he has fuftained any detriment from us, 
either fpiritual, refpecling his falvation, or tem- 
poral, relating to his reputation, fubftance, &Tc. 
And this reparation of fin, is a moft certain difcove- 
ry of true repentance •, but this does not always take 
place, for there are fome fins, which do not admit 
of reparation. 

5. It is not fufficient for 'true converfion, for a 
perfon to abftain from more attrocious fins, as 
theft, fornication, &c. the principal thing is to 
lay afide the love of the world, and carnal defires. 


Upon Repentance. 16$ 

The former, Paul terms, the denying ungodlinefs i 
but the latter, denying of worldly lufts •, fuch are 
the love of riches, honours, and pleafures. Tit, 
ii. ii. 12. For the grace of God which bringeth 
falvation, hath appeared unto all men, teaching 
us, that denying all ungodlinefs, and worldly luits s 
we mould live foberly, righteoufly, and godly in 
this prefent world, i John ii. 15. and v. Befides, 
in order to a more accurate explication of this paf- 
fage, three particulars ought to be obferved, Firft. 
That the repentance which the Apoftles preached 
in the primative times of the Gofpel, was not the 
fame with what is at prefent preached in the 
Church : For at that time, the Apoftles exhorted 
the Gentiles to renounce their former religion, and 
manner of life^ efpecialiy Idolatry, and to em- 
brace Chriftianity. 1 TherT. i. 9. Ye turned to 
God from idols, to ferve the living and true God. 
Acts xiv. xv. and xvii. Such a repentance does 
not take place among Chriftians. This obferva- 
tion is of the greater!: utility, in expounding very 
many places of Scripture, and is otherwife of the 
greater!: advantage*. Secondly. That repentance 
by which a perfon departs from a wicked life, and 
a habit of finning, and from fins of a more attro- 
cious nature, fuch as fraud, whoredom, &c. is 
different from that by which a man is raifed from 
iapfes into fin. By the former the prophane are 
.converted unto God, by the latter, the godly do 
T 3 recover 

* See Sherlock upon Death y Fage 224. 

2;o Part II. Se£i. IV. Chap. II. 

recover after falling. Thirdly. There are various 
degrees of penitents. 

fa) Bfginners, whofe purpofe of amendment* 
is but feeble, and who, without a grievous conflict, 
are unable to abftain from thofe vices, to which 
they have been long accuftomed •, the repentance of 
fuch may be acceptable to God, providing it be 
iincere, and they do not remain in fuch a ftate. 

(b) There are proficients, in whom the pur* 
pofe of a pious life is more firm, and the conflict 

(c) There are fuch as are termed adult, or 
perfect, yet not in every refpect, for fuch perfec- 
tion is not attainable in this life, but they have 
made fuch proficiency in piety, and in a habit of 
fanctity, as to conquer the depravity or their af- 
fections, and being emancipated from fin, are fer- 
vants of righteoufnefs. Yet it is very difficult for 
perfons to arrive at this degree, who have not ma- 
turely, and from their youth, devoted themfelves 
to piety. 

Uses. As this doctrine is totally practical, the 
ufe of it appears qfitfelf, it chiefly refpects men 
as are as yet in a ftate of fin, and who are of the 
number of thofe, who, as Chrift exprefTeth it, 
need repentance. That there are many fuch to 
be found among Chriftians, is undeniable ; there 
are many who live in fin, being in a worfe flate 


Upon Repentance. 271 

perhaps, than even the Heathens, and more dirtant 
from the. life of God. 

2. These ought to be admonifhed, and interro- 
gated, whether they fulfil the duties of repentance, 
or whether they are fenfible of their fins ? All, in 
general, indeed, • acknowledge, that they have fin- 
ned ; but the main point is, whether every one 
fully knows in what refpect, and in what manner 
he has finned ; whether he grieves for his fins, c*r 
rather lives in a ftate of tranquility, and fecurity ? 
Nay, perhaps they rather conceive a certain plea- 
fure upon the remembrance of their fins, than a 
hearty concern, or real trouble for them. Whe- 
ther they have confefled their fins, either to God,, 
or the Church ? Efpecially, whether they have de- 
parted from their fins, have made due reparation 
for them, and reformed their lives ? Few perform 
thefe things, but think it fufficient, if now and 
then, they have felt fome fort of concern for their 
fins, &c. 

3. -Here it ought to be fhewn, how miferable 
the flate of impenitent finners muft be, and how cer- 
tain, and inevitable that deftruclion is, which hangs 
over them. But they are not onlv called impeni- 
tent, who do not at all repent, but likewife fuch as 
do it not in a proper manner. 

The difcourfe ought likewife to be dire-fled 
to fuch as are of the number of beginners, profi- 
cients, or adult perfons : Such ought to entertain 
good hopes concerning their flate, and may be 


2f% Part II. Seel. IV. Chap. III. 

well afliired, that God will forgive their fins, pro- 
viding that they make daily advances in amendment 
of lite, and are heartil. forry for their pad fins, as 
alio, for thofe lapfes, which proceed from infirmity, 
or habits not yet iubdued, &c. 

Chap. III. 

Of Good Works. 

IN treating of good works, we mail, Firft, 
Shew their neceffity. Second. Explain their 

I. With refpect to their neceffity, we mail 
ftiew wherein it confifts, as alfo, how it may be 

i. When we fay, that good works are necefla- 
ry, our meaning is, that both the defire, and 
actual performance of them, is of fuch neceffity, 
that without them, there can be no falvation for 


They are not only good, honeft, juft, profita- 
ble, but they are abfolutely necefTary, not that 
they are meritorious, for there is no meritorious 
caufe of fLvation, but the fatisfaction of Chrift ; 
but they are a necefTary prerequifite of falvation, 
or, as it is teimed, a condition, without which, 
theiecanbe no falvation. But we obferved, that 
the ftudy, or defire, and the actual performance of 
them, are requifitej for thefe two are infeparably 


Upon Coed Works. 173 

connected together. Pof the dudy, defign, and 
fincere defire of obeying. God, muft necefTarly 
produce actual obedience. Yet we may obferve, 
that it is poiTible, that the practice and actual per- 
formance of good works, may not accompany this 
defire, however fincere, viz. v.hen time and oppor- 
tunity of performing them are wanting, as was the 
cafe, with the penitent Heathens, who after they 
had been received into the Church by Baptifm, be- 
ing prevented by death, could not fulfil their baptif- 
mal vow, in that cafe, they might be partakers of 
falvation, though they had not produced the fruits of 

Yet there is no reafen why flnners mould ufc 
this as a handle, by which they might flatter them- 
felves, or imagine, that it will be fumcient for 
them to entertain feme general defign of living 
vti', or grieve for thejrfins at the hour of death. 
For fuch a refoluticr, or purpofe, without its ef- 
fects, can only be fufHcient to falvaticn, v.hen time 
and opportunity of performing good works arc 
wanting. But the ptrfon who has time and op- 
portunity of performing them, and yet neglects 
them, falfely afErms, that he has a cefign of living 
pioufly, and that defign is nothing elie but a bare, 
or general approbation of piety, which is to be 
found in all fmner?, who have not arrived at the 
higheit pitch of cbcuration. Bef cies this ought 
to be received as a moit certain truth, that it 
fcarcely or fcldom happens, that a man who has 
£>een a hearer of the Gcipel for many )ears, and 
who has fpent the greattlt part ; or even the pfcofc 


*74 Part II. Stff. IV. Chap. III. 

of his lifetime in fin, mould be affected with true re- 
pentance at the hour of death. 

2. Again, this neceftity for £ood works, may be 
proved by a twofold kind of arguments. Firft. 
From the command of God. Second. From the 
nature of the thing itfelf. 

i. Good works are necefTary, becaufe God pre- 
fcribes them, and that very clearly and exprefsly. 

fa) First. He hath given us various laws, both 
in the Old and New Tedament, and various pre- 
cepts, according to which we ought to regulate our 
lives. But he has given us thefe in a ferious man- 
ner, and with an intention that they mould be obfer- 
ved by us, otherwife they would be vain things, and 
at ben\ they would be but counfels, and not laws, 
properly fpeaking. 

(b) God prefcribes good works after fuch a 
manner, as indicates the greater! neccrTity, for 
he wills, and commands us, to keep his com- 
mandments, i TherT. iv. 3-5. For this is the 
will of God, even your fanctirication, that ye mould 
abltain from fornication, that every one of you 
fhould know how to pofTefs his vefiel, in fanclifi- 
cation, and honor. Firft. God prefcribes fancli- 
ty, as the only duty acceptable to him, without 
which, all other duties, all other gifts, fuch as the 
knowledge of God, hearing the Divine word, a 
profefiion of the Chriftian faith, extraordinary 


Upon Good Works. 275 

gifts would be of no utility. 1 Cor. xiii. 1-3. 
Though I could fpeak with the tongues of men, 
and angels, and have not charity, I am become as 
a founding brafs, or tinkling cymbal. (Thrift, and 
his Apoftles, every where teftify, that without ho- 
linefs, and obedience to the Divine command- 
ments, no man /hall fee God. Matt. vii. 20. and 
Heb. xii. 14. Follow peace with all men, and ho- 
linefs, without which no man /hall fee the Lord. 
Second. God has annexed to his precepts, the 
fmclions of promifes, and threatnings, which two 
imply the greater!: neceflity. All the power of pro- 
miles and threatnings, is totally abolifhed, if obedi- 
ence be not neceflary. Laftly, the doctrine con- 
cerning the laft judgment, plainly fuppofes the ne- 
ce/fity of good works, fince without that neceflity, 
no judgment could take place. 

2. The very nature of the thing itfelf confirms 
this. For, 

(a) All do acknowledge the necefTity of faith, 
but without good works there can be no faith. 
Therefore, if the nee e/Tity of faith be granted, fo 
muft alfo the neceflity of good works. The fame 
thing may be faid concerning repentance, 

(b) Let us attend to the nature of good works, 
they are in themfelves holy, good, iuit, profitable 
unto men, and agreeable to the nature of God, 
who prefcribes them, as alfo to the nature of man. 
But now, if the laws which are enly of pofitive 
right, if the ceremonial ftatutes of the Jews, be- 


%*]§■ Part II. Sett. IV. Chap. III. 

caufe of their divine authority, were to be obferved^ 
upon pain of death, certainly the obfervance of the 
moral laws and duties, muft be much more neceffa- 
ry j unlefs this neceflity be acknowledged, the 
difference between moral good and evil, muft be 
totally laid afide, as might be proved by many ar- 

(c) If we attend to the nature of happinefs, we 
will acknowledge, that it cannot be obtained, ei- 
ther in this, or in a future life, without an ardent 
defire after holinefs, and the renewal of our 
minds. In this life, the felicity of man confifts 
principally in the enjoyment of peace of confcience, 
tranquility of mind, and being at peace with 
others ; but we can obtain neither of thefe, unlefs 
we obey the dictates of confcience, and are able 
to govern our paflions, and affections, unlefs thofe 
Jaws flourifti, which prefcribe the mutual offices 
of juftice, and benevolence. But in a future life, 
our happinefs entirely confifts in God, and his 
love : In order, therefore, that we might enjoy 
that bleffednefs, it is requifite that we mould be 
affected with a defire of it, that we ihould che- 
rifh the moft lively expectations of it, and look 
/or the whole of our happinefs in God, but what 
elfe is that love of God, but holinefs itfelf. Can 
this defire of celeftial blifs, confift with the love, 
and defire of carnal, and earthly things ? by no 
means : Hence appears the reafon, why God, who 
is moft benevolent towards mankind, has prefcrib- 
cd to us good works, viz. becaufe this was alto- 

Upon Good Works. *fj 

gether neceflary, in order that it might be well 
with us. 

(d) This neceflity appears, from our being 
in duty bound tc* procure the falvation of out 
neighbour : For if we ought to promote the tem- 
poral good of men, how much more ought we to 
exert ourfelves to promote their fupreme eternal 
good : But this cannot otherwife be better accom- 
plifhed, than by good works. Matt. v. 16. Chrifl 
denounces the mod grievous punifhments againft 
thofe, who are defective in their duty as to this 

(e) The nature of religion evinceth the fame 
things, for it mull either confift in the fincere 
worfhip, and love of God, otherwife it muft be a 
thing vain, and chimerical •, among the very 
Heathens, they were only reputed religious, who 
cultivated virtuous difpofitions, and affections ; 
and if we attend to the nature of the Chriftian re- 
ligion, we muft acknowledge, that obedience is of 
the greater!: neceffity, unlefs we would fay, that the 
end of (Thrift's coming into the world, was only to 
purchafe unto mankind, a liberty of finning with 

II. We have now to explain the nature of good 
works, Firft. In general. Second. In particular. 

i. In order to a right understanding of the na- 
ture of good works, or evangelical fanclity, and 
obedience, we have to enquire, what we are to 


278 Part II. Sect. IV. Cha%. III. 

underfland by works, and how they are good. 
Although the external actions, principally are 
wont to be called works, yet it is to be obferved, 
that when we fpeak of works, or obedience, not on- 
ly the external actions, facts, or words are denoted, 
but alfo the internal actions, motions, and thoughts 
of the heart, for whatever is tranfacted by the un- 
derftanding and will, is that, which properly fpeak- 
ing merits the apellation of virtue, and vice. And 
fuch is the nature of evangelical obedience that it 
ought to proceed from the heart, and therefore, 
God has a principal regard to the motions of the will. 
But in order that works may be good, three things 
are neceflary. (a) The principle, (b) The rule, 
(c) The end. 

(a) The proximate, and immediate principle 
of our actions, is confcience \ concerning which, we 
fhall make fome obfervations in general. Con- 
fcience is chiefly taken in a twofold fenfe, it de- 
notes, Firft. The rule of what is to be done. Se- 
cond. The judgment which we pafs upon our 
actions, when committed. In the former fenfc, it 
teaches, what we are to do, and what we are to 
avoid, and in this refpect, it is either right, erro- 
neous, or doubtful. The confcience is right, which 
judges rightly concerning our duty, and perceives 
the true fenfe of the law -, erroneous, which errs 
with refpect to our duty, and the fenfe of the 
law, as when we imagine a thing to be lawful, 
which is prohibited •, doubtful, which hefitates con- 
cerning our duty, being ignorant of what we ought 
to determine, or what we ought to do. In the 


Upon Good Works. 279 

latter fenfe, confeierice paries judgment upon our 
actions, and difcharges the office both of witnefs 
and judge, who either approves or difepproves of 
them. Rom. ii. 15. In this refpect, it may be 
either good, evil, or doubtful. That which ap- 
proves of our actions is called good-, whence arife 
peace, and tranquility of mind. That which re- 
proves and accufes men, and which is attended with 
fear and dread of punifhment, we call evil. It is 
termed doubtful, or fcrupulous, when we are uncer- 
tain, whether what we have done be right, or the 
contrary, and therefore we are fufpended between 
hope and fear. 

These things being premifed, we return to our 
purpofe. In order that any action may be good, 
it is requifite, that it be done according to the dic- 
tate of confeience, otherwife it will be evil. Rom. 
xiv. 23. He that doubteth if he eateth, is damn- 
ed. If confeience be right, its dictate ought to be 
obeyed, and he does well who obeys it •, if it be 
erroneous, we can fcarcely avoid falling into fin. 
For he who errs, fins, do what he will, for he ei- 
ther offends againfl confeience, if he oppofes it, 
or againit God if he obeys it. If confeience be 
doubtful, the one or other of thefe mud be done, 
the action muft either foe deferred, if it can be put; 
off, and circumftances will permit this, or the 
fa fer part is to be chofen ; if the cafe will not ad- 
mit of delay, or being deferred ; but that is to be 
though: the fafeftj which agrees with the moit 
certain principles of the law, whether natural, or 


28o Tart II. Sect. IV. Chap. lit. 

revealed •, or likewife, that which moftly oppofeg 
our own inclinations. 

(h) The rule of our actions is the law of God, 
whether natural or revealed •, it is not fufricient that 
we act according to comctence, but it is requifite, 
befides this, that our actions mould be conforma- 
ble with the prefcript of the divine law. Con- 
science directs our actions, but confcience itfelf, is 
directed by the divine law, therefore, it is our duty to 
enquire into the true fenfe of the law, which indeed 
is not difficult : For God, the benevolent pa- 
rent of mankind, hath willed, that the duties which 
are neceffary to falvation, mould be eafily under- 

(c) The end of our actions mould be the glo^ 
ry of God, and our own, and our neighbour's 
happinefs. For thefe two are fo knit together, 
that the one cannot be obtained without the other, 
nay, accurately fpeaking, they are one and the 
fame thing : but it is necefTary that our actions 
mould have a reference to this end, both from 
their own nature and our intention -, for in vain 
fhould any one attempt to promote the glory of 
God, any action being good in itfelf, would be to 
no purpofe, unlefs we undertook it, with a defire 
of promoting God's glory. Befides, it is to be ob- 
ferved, that the event is not to be confounded 
with the intention, the event does not make any 
action good, unlefs it proceeds from a right in- 
tention ; for it oftentimes happens, that actions 
either evil in themfclves, or proceeding from an 


Upon Good Works. 281 

evil intention, are directed by God to a good end, 
as for mftance, the fele ofjofeph; but it does 
not hence follow, that fuch actions are good. 
Neither ought it to be omitted here, that good ac- 
tions are of two kinds, there are fome, the end 
or fcope of which cannot be evil, fuch as thofe acti- 
ons which are internal, as, the love of God, &c. 
Thefe things being laid down we conclude, that 
thefe three, viz. confeience, rule, and end, are re- 
quifite, in order that an action may be denominated 
good, which is thus to be understood, viz. that no 
action can be called good unlefs attended with three 
conditions •, but if eitheir one or the other of thefe 
be wanting, it muft be defective. Thus, though an 
action be conformable to confeience, and the law, yet 
if it is done for an evil end, it is reputed evil, and fo 
on the contrary. 

Our Chriftian Ethicks treat of good works 
particularly. We only here obferve two particu- 
lars, Pint. That our duties are either external or 
internal. Internal duties are prefcribed upon 
their own account, becaufe they are good, and 
necerTiry in themfelves •, but external duties, as 
outvvard worfhip, &c. becaufe they are the ne- 
ceifary effects of inward piety, or as thev are 
means of producing and encreaung it, in ourfelves 
or others. Secondly. The fum of our duties, 
is the love of God and our neighbour. Matt. 
xxii. 36. 37. Paul delivers a fpecial detail of thefe, 
Tit. ii. 11. 12. where he fiys, That the grace of 
God teacheth us, that we mould live foberly, 
righteoufly, and godly. The firft duty refpects 

U ourfelves, 

282 Part II. &tf. IV. Chap All. 

ourfelves, the fecond our neighbour, and the third 
refers to God. Befides thefe general duties, which 
are incumbent upon all, and each particular per- 
i'on ; there are particular ones, which ought to be 
difcharged by every perfon, according to his con- 
dition in life, or the ftation in which he is placed» 
fuch are the duties of parents, children, mailers, and 
fervants, &c. 

Uses. Firft. From what has been faid concern-* 
ing the necerTity of good works,, it follows, That we 
ought to be intent upon them principally, through 
the whole of our lives, and that they muft periirt 
eternally, who neglect them. But here it will be 
very neceflary,. to anfwer the various objections of 
carnal men» againft the necerTity of good works, and 
to refute thofe errors, with which many are infect- 
ed, as for example, that reliance upon the mercy of 
God is fufficient, that faith alone juftifies us, that we 
are not justified by works, that we obtain falvation 
through the mercy of God» without any merit of our 

It ought to be fhewn, that thefe, and others of the, 
like nature, are objected through ignorance^ and 
contrary to the word of God. 

Secondly. From what has been faid concern- 
ing the nature of good works, every one may 
judge, whether he be endowed with true piety. 
All our actions ought to be examined according to 
the three rules which we have laid down, viz. 
conference, the law, and the end of our actions. 


Upon Good Works. 283 

It will be very eafy, and of much advantage to (hew, 
that thefe three are for the molt part wanting in ail 
our actions. 

Thirdly. We may hence learn, Firfl. How 
much it concerns us, to maintain a good confci- 
ence, imbued with the true knowledge of our 
duty, and pure ; here it ought to be fhewn, how 
criminal it muft be to commit any action which 
dppofes confcience» Second. It is of great mo- 
ment, to procure art accurate knowledge of the di- 
vine law, and rule of our actions, and for this pur- 
pofe, we mould read, hear, and meditate upon the 
word of God inceffantly, and without prejudice or 
party affection. Thirdly. That in all our actions, 
we would propofe a proper end, which is accomplish- 
ed by turning our attention habitually towards God, 
and feeking after our true happinefs. In thefe 
three particulars men offend very frequently, and 
are therefore reprehenftble. But this argument is 
mod fruitful, fo that all the ufes of it can fcarcely be 
pointed out» 

Fourthly. Men mould be admonimed, to 
pay the greater!: deference to the duties which are 
internal, and that they would be molt, folicitous 
about purifying the heart. Again, that above all 
other things, we would learn to love God, and 
our neighbour •, laftly, that every one would dis- 
charge the duties belonging to his particular ftation, 
or condition ill life. 

U 2 CHAP, 

284 Part II. Seel. IV. C%. IV. 

C h a p. IV. 

Of Promifes and Tbreatnings in General. 

NO W follows the ether part of Evangelical 
doctrine, which confifts of promifes and 
threatnings. Concerning which, we mail Firth 
Speak in general. Secondly. In particular. 

And indeed, it ought to be observed, in gene- 
ral, that whereas man is impelled to action, by 
£wo motives principally, viz. the hope of obtain- 
ing fome good, and the fear of fome evil. It was 
therefore neceflary, that God, in order to move 
him, mould propofe both promifes and threat- 
nings, that he mould propofe fome good, more ex- 
cellent than that, which the world and the flefh do 
afford, and that he would threaten fome evil more 
grievous than what he perceives, from the fruft ra- 
tion of his carnal defires, or the enduring of bodily 

i. Therefore God allures men with the hone 
of reward. There have been fome,. who were of 
opinion, that it is unworthy of the children of 
God, and mercenary to difcharge their duty from 
a view of reward : And that it is more becoming 
faithful, to be governed by the pure love of 
God, without any regard to perfonal utility. 
Which opinion is both falfe and dangerous, op- 
pofes the nature of religion, and the word of 
God. For, Firft. As we formerly obferved, God 
hath revealed religion unto mankind, and pre- 

Upr-K Prom 'fes and Threatnings. 

{bribed various duties, not upon his own account, 
but that it might be well with them-, whence it 
follows, that reu'gion muft neceflarily have a re- 
fpect unto happinefs, and remuneration, which 
is folidly confirmed from Heb. xi. 6. He tliat 
cometh to God, muft believe that he is, and that 
he is a rewarder of them, that diligently feek him. 
Second. It is fo far from being the cafe, that the 
love of God mould be feparated from the deiires 
of our happinefs, that it rather includes and fup- 
pofes that defire, and that fo neceffarily, that lay- 
ing aflde a refpecT: to remuneration, and confum- 
mate felicity, the other is laid afide likewife. For 
God liimfelf is our reward, as the Scripture ex- 
prefleth it, and the chief good of man. Third. 
The Scripture frequently allures, and excites us 
to the worfhip of God, with the hope of a reward. 
2 Cor. vii. I. Having therefore thefe promifes, 
let us cleanfe ourfelves from all filthinefs, both of 
the flefh and fpirit. Gal. vi. 7. 8. 1 Tim. iv. 8. 
Godlinefs hath the promife, both of this life, and 
that which is to come. 1 John iii. 3. That paf- 
fage is to be noted, Rom. ii. 7. 8. Where Paul 
teacheth, that it is the diftinguifhing characteristic 
of the godly, that they feek for glory, honour, 
2nd immortality, i. e. remuneration, by well 
doing ; fo that they are vain things which feme 
conjecture, concerning a pure love of God, which 
has no refpedl to a reward. To what we have al- 
ready obferved, may be added the examples of 
holy men, as Mofes, Heb. xi. 26. Who efteemed 
the reproach of Chrift, greater riches, than the 
treafure-s of Egvpt, becaufe he had a reflect to 
U 2 the 

286 Part II. Sea. IV. Chap. IV. 

the rccompcnce of reward, likewife of Chrift himfelf, 
who is faid, Heb. xii. 2. To have endured the 
crofs, for the joy that was fet before him. 

2. The fame holds good, with refpecl to 
threatnings > and here indeed we fuppofe in the 
£rft place, that the Gofpei does not only contain 
promifes, but likewife threatnings, and thefe of 
a moil, dreadful nature, fo that they are in an er- 
ror, who pay no refpect to any thing in the Chrif- 
tian religion, and the Gofpei, but promifes and 
benefits, as if we had nothing more to fear, fince 
Chrift has fhed his blood for us. For through un- 
belief, or difobedience, we may bring utter ruin 
upon ourfelves. They likewife err, who fet the 
Law, and the Gofpei in fuch oppofition to each 
other, as to fay that the law denounces indeed 
threatnings, and a curfe, but not the Gofpei : For 
the Gofpei contains threatnings, and thefe far 
more grievous. Ileb. v. 28. 29. He that def- 
pifed Mofes's law, died without mercy under two 
or three witnefTes, of how much forer punifhment 
fuppofe ye, (hall he be thought worthy, who hath 
trodden under foot the Son of God. And xii. 
18-29. But as fome believe that the obedience is 
mercenary, which proceeds from the hope of retri- 
bution, in like manner they think the obedience is 
fo-vile, which flows from the fear of punifhment. 
Is; ay, fome have got to fuch a pitch of infanity, as 
to ailett, that the faithful are fo pofTeffed of the 
pure love of God, as to be willing to fuffer eternal 
damnation if he thought 5 but fuch things are 
foolifh, vain deliiiums, nay impious. Firft. The 


Upon the Promifes and threatnings. 2$y 

Sacred Scripture teacheth, that as long as we arc 
in this world, piety is not only produced, but al- 
io cherifhed within us, by the fear of punimment. 
He'b. -xii. 28. 29. 1 Pet. 1. 17, &c. And if ye 
call him Father, who, without refpect of perfons, 
judgeth according to every man's works, pafs the 
time of your fojourning here with fear. Secondly. 
Thofe threatnings move, and refpect the faithful. 
2 Cor. v. 11. Knowing therefore the terrors of 
the Lord, we perfuade men. 1 Cor. ix. 27. Ezek. 
xxxii. 19. If the righteous doth iniquity, he lliali 
die ifi his iniquity. Thirdly. Faith, and religion 
ought to comprehend whatever God hath revealed, 
and confequently bath promifes and threatnings. 
As to the objection that the obedience is fervile, 
which is performed through fear of punifhment \ 
we anfwer, 

1. That obedience is indeed furvile, and no 
•way laudable, viz. when a perfon again ft his will, 
mews only an external obfequioufnefs, and with 
the wicked fervant obeys his mafter, left he mould 
be beaten. A man may indeed be compelled to 
external acts. But that makes nothing for the 
purpofe, becaufe there can be no obedience ref- 
pecting God, but what proceeds from the will. 
Therefore it is abfurd to fay, that a perfon obeys 
God againft his will. A man's obedience, indeed, 
may be attended with fome reluctance, efpecially at 
the firft beginnings of converfion, yet it is not in- 

2. Ws 

288 Part II. Sea. IV. Chap. IV. 

2. We have likewife to confider the nature cf 
punifhments. Indeed it would be fervile, to be 
moved by the fole fear of temporal punifhments, but 
it is by no means fo, to be impelled by the fear of 
fpiritual, and eternal punifhment. Nay, the more 
we are governed by filial love, the more will we dread 
that punifhment, becaufe it confifts in nothing elfe, 
but a reparation from God. 


3. It remains, that we mould mention particu- 
larly, what thofe promifes and threatnings are. 
The promifes are either temporal, or fpiritual. 
There are no fpecial temporal promifes granted 
under the Gofpel, as were under the law. We 
have only general ones, viz. That God will be- 
ftow upon us, whatever things are necefTary for 
our paflage through this life, if we but fear him. 
Matt. vi. 25-31. Therefore take no thought, fay- 
ing, what mail we eat, or what mall we drink, 
eic. 1 Tim. iv. 8. Heb. xiii. 5. Be content with 
iuch things as ye have, for he hath faid, I will 
never leave you, nor forfake you. Which things, 
yet, are not promifed to all, nor abfolutely, but 
only under this condition, viz. that God fees it 
fit. For Chriil hath predicted, that the godly 
would be obnoxious to various evils, and perfec- 
tions. Therefore, the promifes of the Gofpel, pro- 
perly {peaking, are fpiritual, viz. Justification, Sane» 
tiiication, and Glorification, of which we are foon to 

The threatnings, again, are likewife temporal, 
or fpiritual. The Gofpel does not propofe, in a 


Upon Promifcs and Threatnings. 289 

particular manner, any temporal ones. In gene- 
ral, God makes ufe of the punifhments and evils 
of this life, for the reformation of particular per- 
fons, or nations, or for a trial of the godly. But 
thefe evi's, properly fpeaking, are not to be in- 
cluded under the idea of punifhments ; nay, they 
rather proceed from the love of God towards 
mankind : Yet temporal death may be confidered 
as a real punifhment, fince by it God cuts off the 
(inner from this life, precludes him from all hopes 
of falvation, and then begins to act the part of a 

Spiritual threatnings, refpecl either the pre- 
fent, or a future life. In this life, the Scripture 
threatneth hardnefs of heart, utter defertion, blind- 
nefs of mind. Heb. iii. 13. And iv. 11. Let 
us labour therefore to enter into that reft, left any 
man fall after the fame example of unbelief. 
Yet, it ought to be obferved here, that this is not, 
properly fpeaking, a punifhment, for God is not 
its author. But thefe are the horrid confequences 
of fin, evils in their nature moil grievous, which 
the (inner hath brought upon himlelf, and which 
render him obnoxious to eternal deftruclion, and 
which we ought to dread moft vehemently. What 
remains therefore, are the punifhments of another 
life, of which we will treat in our laft Section, viz. 
Concerning the world to come. 

Use. 1. Hence appears the confnmmate wif- 
dom and goodnefs of God, who p^opofes fuch mo- 
tives unto mankind, as are apteit to move them : 


2$o Pert II. Seft.1V. Chap. IV. 

Whence it follows, that they are inexcufable if they 
abide in unbelief, and are dhobedient. 

1. The divinity, and excellency of our religion, 
which is confpicuous, not only in the articles of 
faith, and precepts it contains, which are moft juft, 
and agreeable to the law of nature, but likewife, 
and efpecially, in its promifes and threatnings. 
We ought to give the ftricteft attention, Firft. 
To their nature, fince God has prepared for us a 
good furpaflingly great, than which, nothing more 
excellent can be conceived -, as alfo, an evil, of all 
others the moft grievous •, and both of thefe eter- 
nal. Second. We ought to attend likewife to their 
certainty, which appears not only from the word 
of God, and the arguments it affords, for the truth 
of our religion, but alfo from the feeling of con- 
fcience. For if we will but examine it, there can- 
not remain with us the lead doubtfulnefs concern- 
ing the verity of promifes and threatnings. Upon 
thefe two, the whole force and energy of both do 

3. Hence may be inferred the neceflity of obe- 
dience ; for what can put us under a greater necef- 
fity of living pioufly, than an afTured hope of the 
greateft, and eternal good, and the fear of the 
greateft eternal evil, if we are but defirous of our 
own falvation ? Therefore, we muft obey, or perifh 

4. Hence we may likewife learn the nature of 
obedience : It is not conftrained, but fincere, and 

voluntary : 

Upon Promifes and fbreatmngsl z$i 

voluntary : God is to be ferved, not with an un- 
willing, and reluctant mind, but with love, and 
joy, fince we are engaged in the acquifition of the 
Supreme Eternal Good, and in avoiding everlafting 
damnation. Whatever God prefcribes tends to 
our advantage. Therefore, with alacrity of mind, 
we ought to entertain, and cherifh the moft ar- 
dent, and fincere breathings after godlinefs. Let 
this, therefore, be the effect, and ufe, of both pro- 
mifes and threatnings. 2 Cor. vii. 2. 2 Pet. i. 
34. According as his divine power hath given 
unto us all things that pertain unto life, and god- 
linefs, through the knowledgh of him, that hath 
called us to glory, and virtue, whereby are given 
unto us exceeding great and precious promifes, 
that by thefe ye might be partakers of the Divine 
nature, having efcaped the corruption that is in 
the world, through luft. Heb. xii. 28. 29. 

Chap. V. 

Of Juftification. 

THE firft, and principal benefit of the Gofpel, 
is Juftification : Which, no doubt, is the 
reafon, why the Apoftles treat of it fo copioufly, 
and profefTedly, particularly in the Epiftles to the 
Romans, and Gallations, and in the Epiftle of 
James, chap. ii. We fhall here teach from Scrip- 
ture, in a brief and fimple manner, Firft. Wherein 
Juftification confifts. Second. How we may ob- 
tain this benefit. 

I. The 

2.92 P.. -: II. Sdl. IV. Chap. V. 

I. The term Justification, as likewife righteoud 

nefs, is not always ufed in the fame fenfe in Scrip 

. : In general, to be juiiifled, fignirles to pic 
God, or to be acceptable to him. Heb. xi. 6. But 
as man is in a ftate of fin, it is impoilible he mould 
pleafe God, without his fpecial mercy : So : 
the term Justification is to be underftood prii 

in a forenfick fenfe, as i: i s abfclurion 

from guilt, by which a man is treated as innocent. 
That this is the meaning of the word, fully appears 
from Paul, who defcribes Justification by this 
phrafe : Faith is imputed for righteoufnefs, which 
denotes, that a man, through faith, is treated as if 
he were righteous. Rom. iv. 5. The fame Apof- 
tle, Rom. iv. 6. 7. teacheth, that the benefit of 
Justification, confirms in the remiiTion of fins. Ads 
xiii. 38. Rom. viii. 33. Who mail lay any thing 
to the charge of God's elect. ? It is God that jufti- 
fieth. Here he oppofes J unification to condemna- 
tion : But the oppofite of condemnation is abfolu- 

Therefore, Judication is a judicial act of 
God, by which, of his great mercy to iinful man, 
he remits his fins, and gives him a right to eternal 
life, through Chrift, apprehended by true faith. 

From this definition it is plain, that Justification 
comprehends two benefits, viz. remiflion of fins, 
and a right to eternal life. 

1. The remiflion of fins, Rom. iv. 6. 7. If man 
were innocent, his juftification would be nothing 


:'.;-.: _• g"-ii:y. he cir.:;c: :e ; j 
\v::ho'. : : ' F~:-~g: - • 



] : :'-.L :. V:;:' .:: is i .-.:.: : . " " 

i.-.nrerc ! : .r.:. :.: CMS 

: Mily :'. ei: : :. :v: .. : .- 

re .-.:. The Romans maintain, 

::::-.: . . rrg-cry. * "' 

T is • :y:::- r\':-r is evident, 

as there is no mention ■:: it i: Sacred Scripture, 

,:::: :; :his ii:"e, i: :.. 

r::o::i:us :: :herr ; ' . : :i;e:"e - e nc:. rro- 

pc-.y ::— : 

2. t v;t:: : -; ■ - - - : ' '.: -3 

eterr Ti:. ii : . Th*: 'being his 

C . . . : . . - 

;" : r. e I ve, 

er believeth in 

II. W£ 

194 Part II. Seti. IV. Chap. V. 

II. We are to confider, by what means we are 
juftified. Here we are to obferve, in general, that 
this is a blefling merely gratuitous, for both the 
remiflion of fins, and a right to eternal life, folely 
depend upon the mercy of God, fo that whoever 
defires to be juftified, ought previoufly to acknow- 
ledge, that he finds no caufe within himfelf of ab- 
folution, but of condemnation* 

In particular, we are to hold, that two things 
are requifite to justification : The one on God's 
part, the other on ours. On the part of God, 
our j unification depends entirely on his mercy, 
which is founded upon the facrifice of Jefus Chrift. 
Rom. iii. 24. There we are faid to be juftified free- 
ly, through the redemption that is in Chrift Je- 
fus, and for this caufe, the righteoufnefs of Chrift, 
is termed our righteoufnefs, hence it is enquired 
wherein that righteoufnefs of Chrift confifts, which 
is imputed unto us. Whether it be his paffive 
righteoufnefs only, i. e. his fuiferin^s, and his 
death, or alfo, his active, i. e. the obedience which 
he performed unto God, or his iiolinefs. Many of 
our Divines admit both. They fay, that his ac^ 
tive righteoufnefs, appears before God, as a part 
of his fatisfaction, and merits, and that as Chrift: 
fuffered for us, fo likewife he fulfilled the law, 
upon our account, that his obedience might be 
imputed unto us, that we might be juft and right- 
eous through him. But fome do not approve of 
this opinion, they acknowledge, indeed, that the 
active righteoufnefs of Chrift, or his obedience, was 
a qualification^ or condition, requifite In our Me- 

Upon J unification. I95 

diator, that it is of advantage to us, and perform- 
ed for our good. But they deny, that this right- 
eoumefs is properly imputed to us, and fay, that 
fuch a doctrine is dangerous. On our part faith is 
requifite, this Paul teacheth, Rom. iii. 28. There- 
fore we conclude, that a man is juftified by faith, 
without the deeds of the law, and through the whole 
Epiftle. Likewife Acts xiii. 38. 39. And certainly 
it was altogether neceflary, that a man mould em^ 
brace falvation when offered him, neither is it pofti- 
ble that God mould beftow eternal happinefs, upon 
a perfon who is unwilling to receive it, and refufes 
it. But here that faith is to be underftood which is 
fincere, and difplays itfelf by good works. Gal. v. 
6.' For in Chrift Jefus, neither circumcifion avail- 
eth any thing, nor uncircumcifton, but faith that 
worketh by love. So that in point of juftification, 
works are by no means to be feparated from faith, 
nor to be fet in oppofition againft it. For that 
faith is not fincere, "which it not accompanied with 
a firm purpofe of obeying God. Which purpofe, 
indeed, if fi.icere, will difplay itfelf by good 
works. Truft in God, and Chrift, without fiich a 
refolution is falfe, and hypocritical, and it is fo far 
from being the cafe, that a perfon void of this 
purpofe fhould embrace Chrift and his benefits, 
that he rather rejects him. Yet we are by no 
means to imagine, that we are juftified by works : 
As if works were the foundation, or meritorious 
caufe of our justification. AYorks can merit no- 
thing of God, taking the word in its proper figni- 
fication. Firft. Becaufe they are imperfect. Se- 
cond. If they were perfect, they are but debts. 


lyG Part II. Sect. IV. Chap. V. 

Third. Becaufethereisnoporportion between them, 
and the reward of eternal life, nay, neither does 
faith properly fpeaking juftify. The acl of believ- 
ing is" not our j unification or the meritorious caufe 
of our j unification, but only a requifite necerTary 
to it. 

It is aiked, how Paul, who teacheth, That 
we are juftified by faith, without works, may be 
reconciled with James, who teacheth, Chap. ii. 
22. That we are not juftified by faith alone, but 
alfo by woks ? But the anfwer is eafy, if we at- 
tend to the fcope of both thefe Apoftles. Paul 
confutes certain falfe teachers, who maintained, 
that faith in Chrift was not fufficient ; but that, 
befides this, the obfervance of circumcifion, and 
the Mofaick rites, was neceflary. Acts xv. i. 
Againft thofe, Paul afferts, that faith alone was 
fufficient, i. e. that it is enough, if we believe in 
Chrift, and obey his Gofpel. Neither was it any 
longer requisite to obferve the Mofaick rites, but 
he undeftands fuch faith here, as is accompanied 
with works. Gal. v. 6. In which chapter, he ex- 
prefsly admonifheth, that no perfon mould abufe 
his docti ine, fo as to indulge licentioufnefs. James, 
on the other hand, is difputing againft Hereticks, 
who acknowledge indeed, the neceftity of faith, 
but not of works ; and thus boafted of what was 
net a true, but a rji ad and empty faith •, thefe he 
refutes, from the example of Abraham, and proves, 
that faith neceuarily produceth good works, and in 


Upon jufiification. 297 

{liis lenfe aflertSj that a mart is alfo juftified by 


Uses. i. This doctrine is of fuch i importance, 
(hat our falvation wholly depends upon it : The 
chief good of man confitfcs in j unification. Rom. 
\v. 7. 8. Blefled is the man, to whom the Lord 
will not impute fin. Hence we learn, how great, 
and excellent the bleSTing of our justification in the 
fight of God muft be. Nothing is more happy 
than the man whom God justifies, and is at peace 
with him : On the other hand, he is mod mlferable, 
who is not partaker of this blefTing ; for he is in a 
ftate of condemnation, and the wrath of God abideth 
on him. John. iii. %6. 

2. There is no perfon, who ought not to be 
folicitous about his condition, viz. whether he be 
in a ftate of justification, or not ; but this cannot be 
otherwife known but by faith. Wherefore we ought 
to examine, whether we are pofTefTed of that true 
faith, which justifies ? Whether we cordially em- 
brace thofe mod excellent promifes : The grace 
of God in (Thrift, or whether we feel within ourfelves, 
the effect of true faith. Many underftand this doc- 
trine of justification but badly, and feign to them- 
felves, I do not know what kind of justification, by 
which they are made partakers of falvation, without 
piety and holinefs. 

This was the error of the falfe teachers, whom 

James refutes in his Epiftle, Chapter ii. as a'fo 

of the Gnofticks of old, who thought that faith 

X might 

23* Part II. Sea. IV. Chap. VI. 

be true and falutary, without good works. Th ; s 
error hath almofl every where prevailed among 
Chriftians, in the prefent time, fo that men mould 
be well fortified againft it. But this perverfe and 
deftructive error, may be confuted from Scripture. 
Gal. v. Jam. ii. As alfo from the very nature of 
juftifying faith, by mewing that fuch is the na- 
ture of faith, that it is always accompanied with 
good works : Hence it follows, that thofe who live 
in fin, are destitute of faith, and confequently 
are not in a (late of justification, but of condemna- 

3. The third ufe is of confolation, confifting of 
that peace, fecurity, and that ineffible and glorious 
joy, with which the hearts of believers %re ftored, in 
Yuil hope of eternal life. Concerning this, fee Rom. 
v. 1 5. and viii. 28. &c. 

Chap. VI. 

Of Sanctification. 

SAnctification may be considered feparately, 
either as a benefit, or as a duty to be perform- 
ed by man. But we mall here confider it, in the for- 
mer refpect, viz, as it is one of the principal bleflings 
of the Evangelical covenant. 

And in the Firft place, we mail confider the na- 
ture of it. Secondly. Its caufe. 

Sanctification is twofold, external and in- 
ternal. That fandlification is denoininated external, 



Of Sanctificatioit. 20 j 

of federal, by which God calls, or Invites us to his 
covenant, and feparates us from others, in order 

that we might become partakers of eternal life ; 
for to fanctify in Scripture, oftentimes denotes 
the fame thing, as to fet apart from a prophane 
or common, and to appropriate to fome facred ufe. 
And in this fenfe, the people of Ifrael are called 
holy, and Chriftians, a holy nation. 1 Pet. ii. 9. 
But ye are a chofen generation, a royal priefthood, 
a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye mould fhevv 
forth the praifes of him, who hath called you out of 
darknefs, into his marvellous light. They are to 
denominated, becaufe God hath fet them apart from 
the world, and prophane perfons, for his worfhip and 

For here the fcope of this deftination is two- 
fold, as it is not pomble, that God could have 
deftined us for glory, without alio calling us into 

Internal Sanctification, and the real purifica- 
tion of the man himfelf, is termed in Scripture, 
Renovation, Regeneration, concerning this, John 
iii. 3. Verily I fay unto thee, except a man be 
born again, he cannot fee the kingdom of God. 
Tit. iii. 5. 1 Cor. vi. 19. 20. &c. But now finc- 
tiflcation confitis in the renewal of the mind, v : z. 
Firft. In the renovation, or illumination of the 
underftanding ; for a man cannot undergo this 
change, without his mind being previoufly enlight- 
ned, with the knowledge of the truth. Again, in 
the reformation of the will, and affe&ions. For in 
X 2 order 

gop Part II. SeSt. IV. Chap. VI. 

order that a man may be faicl to be regenerated, of 
ianclified, a renewal and change of the affections is 
requifite, by which he departs from fin, and is en- 
tirely devoted to holinefs ; and this change is of ab- 
solute neceffity, fo that without it, no falvation can 
be expected. John iii. 5. Heb. xift 14. &c. Fol- 
low peace with all men, and holinefs, without which 
no man fnall fee the Lord. 

II. Th-e other particular which we have to confi- 
der, concerning Sanctih" cation, is its caufe. As all 
men are finners, it follows, that fanclincation does by 
no means proceed from them, but that it is a bene- 
fit, which we derive from God. But he works out 
our fanclincation. 

1. By his word. Which is therefore termed the 
feed of regeneration. 1 Pet. i. 2. 3. Being born 
again, not of corruptible feed, but of incorrupti- 
ble, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth 
forever. Jam. i. 18. Which is mod efficacious 
both in enlightening the underftanding, and moving 
the will -, as it propounds to us our duty, and lays 
before us the mod powerful reafons, and motives to 
excite us. 

By his Holy Spirit, who difpofes the mind and 
bends the heart. John iii. 5. Verily I fay unto 
thee, unlefs a man be born of water and of the fpirir, 
annot enter into the kingdom of God. And 
in this does the operation of the Holy Spirit proper- 
ly Eonfift, 

3. He 

Upon $ turn, 3 2 - 

I I • lik - 

s«, the . 

! : Yet the )f our far Stificati 

c:; j:.. : .s upon G : - tout hi* ; 

:e it in 
us, without < cewe are com- 

man- : (anc- 

2 Cor. v"i. 1. 

ii. 12. Work - 

But 1 

:.:..- *- . reger 

But as : 

from G : . 2 rea- 

ion, zd 

- _.' 
men. This _ .-, 

I r- 
mer 1 "eient, :. . the 

on. Be 

faith . - ::;u; :;: l"."e, r 

Uses. i. Tl 

vet 1 
ry, viz. S 

c: 7U - - . . 

302 Part II. Sett. IV. Chap. VI. 

vciTicn of the Tinner unto God, And the fole end 
of (Thrift's coming into this world, was not the ex- 
piation of fin, but likewife, to dcflrcy the domi- 
nion of ir, and make us a holy people. Tit. ii. 
14. Therefore they overthrow the grace of Chrift, 
and the Gofpel, and labour under a fundamental 
error, who turn the whole of their thoughts towards 
juftification, being no way felicitous about their fanc- 

2. From this doctrine, follows the poflibility of 
holinefs, and of keeping the commandments of 
Chrift Jefus. For if God fanclifies a man, he may 
live a holy life, nay, arrive at an excellent degree of 
fanctity, ojtherwife our fanclincation will be nothing, 
the energy of the Gofpel v arid Holy Spirit will be 
of no avail, and this benefit of God, is totally laid 

3. Since fandtification is the work of God, it 
follows, that no one can be partaker of it without 
divine grace, which therefore we ought to apply for 
by daily prayer. 7 he neglect of prayer is utterly 
inconfiftent with fanciification. 

4. Sanctification may be confidered as a 
duty t upon us. Thefe two, the grace 
of God, and man's induftry and care, correspond 

The grace of God fup- 

fes our labour, and is given in order that we 

work out our fanctifkafion ; again, our labour 

uppofes divine grace, fjnee without it, we can 

ding. The I y of which doctrine, is. to 


Upon San ct faction. 303 

make us humble and diligent ; humble in implor- 
ing the grace of God, and acknowledging cur own 
mifery, and diligent in the performance of good 

What has been obferved concerning the vari- 
ous degrees of fancftification, has this tendency, viz. 
that every one mould examine himfelf, and be well 
informed, whether his {anclification be as yet begun, 
and whether he has arrived at any degree of perfec- 
tion in it ? The principal mark of real fan edification, 
and which is of equal moment with all the reft, is, 
that we always be making farther advances in rege- 

We mould now treat of Glorification, and eternal 
life, which is the mod excellent benefit, belonging to 
the Christian doclrine. But this treatife belongs to 
the laft fcclion of Theology. 


E 304 ] 


Q F 



Concerning the Church, &c. 

In this Section, we are to confider, Firft. What 
is meant by the Church. Second. We mall treat; 
of its government. Third. Difcipline. Fourth, 
Its various flate. 

Chap. I. 

Concerning the Church in general. 

jf E R E we have to fee, Fir ft. In general what 
XjJ. vve are t0 underftand by the Church. Se- 
cond. Who aie its members. Third. What are 
its chara&eriiticks, or marks. Fourth. What are 
its attributes. 

I. The Church is the united body of men, who 
are called to eternal life by the Gofpel. But fince 
the term Church is varioufly understood, its various 
acceptations (hould be accurately diftinguilhed, as 


Concerning the Church in general. 305 

this will affbid us an eafy folution of the various 

quefhcr.s which are ufuolly moved concerning this 

i. The Church, in its mod extend ve Mgniflca- 
tjon, denotes all men who profefs the Chriftian 
faith, whatever place, or k£t they belong to. 

Sometimes, it denotes any one particular a£ 
fembJy, or more, who are united together, by a cer- 
tain common bond : Thus we fay, the Church of 
Geneva, the Church of Rome, &c. 

3. The Church may be conMdered, as it re- 
fpecls only fuch as are truely faithful, all pious and 
elect perfons, who fincerely worfhip God, and this 
is the true Church of Chrifl — his true Body. Yet 
it oftentimes happens, that tnQ Scripture attributes 
to tht Church in genaral, what is only applicable 
to the faithful. 

The Church is varicufly divided. We difmifs 
that trite division cf it into militant and trium- 
phant, becaufe that diftinclicn has no foundation 
in Scripture. But it is divided into vifible, and 
invifible. The former is that external fociety, 
which is made up of the faithful, and reprobates. 
But the latter includes only the faithful. It is 
termed invifible, not as if the faithful, or their 
works were invifible, but becaufe fuch as are truly 
faithful are known to Gcd alcne, and becaufe they 
are intermixed with hypocrites, and do not condi- 

%o6 Part II. Sitt. V. Chap. I. 

tute any vifible body, and diflind, or feleft foci- 

Into univerfal, and particular. The Univerfal, 
or Catholic Church, is difpenfed over the whole 
earth, and extends itfelf to all places, and perfons, 
That Church is termed particular, which is of any- 
one place. 

Into pure, and impure. But a particular 
Church may be pure or impure. Firft. With re- 
flect to doctrine ; and it is called Orthodox, or 

2. With refpedl to wcrfhip, which may be either 
pure or corrupt. 

3. Morals. For according as fcandals are un- 
common, or frequent, or as they increafe, or are 
fupprefled, in any Church, that Church is denomi- 
nated pure, or impure. 

4. With refpect to difcipline : For in order 
that any Church might maintain its purity, the 
exercife of Apoftolical difcipline is requifite, &c. 

5. Union. Thofe who maintain this union, ac- 
cording to fincerity, and charity, are denominated 
pure •, but fuch as violate it, and without caufe fepa- 
rate from others, are termed Schifmatical. 

But it is neceflary, that fuch as would be faved, 
mould affociate with the Church. Ads ii. 47. And 


Concerning the Church in general. 307 

the Lord added to the Church daily, filch as mould 
be faved. Hence it may with propriety be faid, 
that without the Church there can be no ialvation ; 
which ought to be underflood of the Univerfal 
Church, but not of any particular one : For there is 
no particular Church, out of which falvation might 
not be obtained, though it cannot be gained fo rea- 
dily in all churches. 

II. All perfons whatever, who embrace the 
Chriftian faith, in a certain fenfe, may be denomi- 
nated members of the Church ; but accurately 
(peaking, the faithful alone are its members ; 
Wheref>>-e, the wicked are by no means to be 
deemed fuch, though they maintain external com- 
munion with it. Matt. xiii. See the parable of 
the tares, and the wheat. The wicked are ungod- 
ly perfons, and hypocrites : Ungodly, viz. fuch as 
make an open profeflion of impiety ; none of which 
would be found in the Church, if the difcipline of 
the Apoftles took place. But an intermixture of 
the good, and of the evil, cannot be prevented in 
the Church. 

But the duty of members is threefold. Firrt. 
An external, and public profeflion cf the Chriftian 
faith •, to which may be referred, public worfnip, 
facred afiemblies, and the u£ of the facraments. 
Second. Due fubjeclion to thatordei which is con- 
ftituted in the Church, to Paftors, and to the Church. 
Heb. xiii. 17. Obey them that have the rule over 


3o8 Part II. Sett. V. Chap. I. 

you, and fubmit yourfelves. Third. Purity of life, 
and manners, especially charity. 

III. Inquiry is made, concerning the marks, 
or characters of the Church, what they are ? In 
order to the folution of which question, we ought 
to fix what we are to understand by the Church. 
If it denotes all true believers, or the invisible 
Church, then no marks of it can be produced, but 
thofe, by which 'fuch perfons as are truly faithful, 
are diftinguimed from others. But ifweunder- 
irand a particular Church, then the marks may be 
affigned, by which the more pure focieties are dif- 
tinguifhed from fuch as are impure. But thefc 
marks are none elfe, but purity of doctrine, worfnip, 
difcipline, and manners. To which, the more or 
lefs any Church accedes, the more or lefs it is to 
be deemed pure. 

The Romans lay down fifteen marks of the 
true Church, and indeed the mod of them are fuch, 
as agree with their own Church. Firft. The title of 
Catholick. Second. Antiquity. Third. Uninter- 
rupted duration. Fourth. Amplitude. Fifth. A 
fucceflion of Biihops. Sixth. Agreement as to the 
"fame doclrine. Seventh. The union of the mem- 
bers with each other, and with their head. Eighth. 
Sanctity. Ninth. Efficacy of doctrine. Tenth. 
The fanctity of the lives of its authors. Eleventh. 
Miracles. Twelfth. Prophecy. Thirteenth. Con- 
fefTion of their adversaries. Fourteenth. The un- 
happy fate cf their enemies. Fifteenth. Tempo- 
ral felicity. Thefe marks are either abfurd, or 


Concerning the Church in general. 309 

falfe, as 1. 3. 4. 5. Contrary to the word of God, 
or fuch as do agree with the Romifh Church, as 
2. 11. 12. But concerning thefe, let the writings 
of Divines be confulted. 

IV. The attributes of the Church, according td 
the word of God, are Unity, Univerfality, and Sanc- 

1. Unity, for the Church cf Chrift is one, -end 
rot more, which may be k^n every where in the 
New Teftament, where mention is made of only 
of one Church, as Eph. iv. 4-6. There is one body, 
and one fpirit, even as ye are called in one hope, 
of your calling, &c. Therefore, no particular 
Church can affume the title cf a church exclu- 

2. Universality, or its being Catholick; 
For the Church is diffufed over the whole world, 
and all Chriftians conflituteoily one body, {o that 
the title of Catholick is not to be limited to any 
particular Church. 

3. Sanctity. Eph. v. 27. Chrift loved the 
Church that he might prefent it to himfelf, a glo- 
rious Church, i. e. not having fpot or wrinkle, but 
that it fhould be holy. Which fanctity is federal* 
or external, as it is feparated from the world, and 
dedicated to God 5 or real, and internal, as the true 
members of the Church, are cleanfed from the de- 
filements cf the world. 


3io Part II. Sett. V. Chap. I. 

There are three other attributes which are u 
ally afcribed unto the Church. Firit. Authority. 
Second. Infallibility. Third. Perpetuity. 

Authority. In the Church there is no author- 
ity, properly (peaking, beMdes the authority of 
Chriil. But whatever things are tranfacted by the 
Church, or his Minifters derive their whole author- 
ity from Chrifl. And do not bind men's con- 
ferences but as far as they are done in his name. 
For in that cafe, whatever the Church does, Chriil 
ratifies. Matt, xviii. 18-20. Whatfoever thing ye 
ihail bind upon earth, lliall be bound in Heaven. 
John xx. 23. With refpect to things neceffary to 
falvation, the Church has no power to advance new 
laws, or to make any new articles of faith ; in 
other cafes, which God hath not determined, and 
yet ought to be determined, for the prefervation 
of order, the Church may enact laws, for otherwise 
no fociety could fubfift. 1 Cor. xiv. 40. Let all 
things be done decently and in order. Thus, with 
refpect to the various circumftances of divine wor- 
ship, time, place, &c. the Church may determine, 
providing that its determination, be conformable 
with the laws of the Gofpel, Prudence, and Char- 
ity, and all ought to fubmit to ftatutes of this na- 

As to infallibility, it is fufficiently evident, from 
what has been already obferved, that it does not 
belong to the Church. The Romans afTert, that 
the Church is infallible, i. e. that it cannot err in 
doctrine, or concerning doctrine, or manners. But 


Concerning the Chtorch in general. gn 

they have net as yet defined, what that infallible 
Church is, whether it he the Pope, or Univerfal 
Council, or the Pope and Council conjointly. But, 
Firtt. Though we fliould grant that the Church is 
infallible, i. e. that it cannot err, how will they 
prove, that that privilege belongs to the Romifh 
Church, rather than to the Greek, or our Church. 
Second. There is no fuch privilege : It is impolli- 
ble indeed, that the true Church, i. e. true believ- 
ers, can err fundamentally, for in that cafe, there 
would be no faithful perfon to be found in the world \ 
but any vifible Church may err. 

We prove that the Church is not infallible. 
Firft. Becaufe if fo excellent a prerogative were 
granted to the Church by God, the Scripture would 
have informed us of it, which it no where does. 
That pafTage Matt, xviii. 17. And if he mall ne- 
glect to hear them, tell it unto the Church, and 1 
Tim. iii. 15. Where, according to the Romans, the 
Church is termed the pillar, and ground of the 
truth, make nothing for their purpoie, and though 
they attributed any thing to the Church, they do not 
{peak of the Romifh, more than any other Church. 
Second. The Scriptures overthrow this infallibil- 
ity, when they foretel the defection of Chriftians 
from truth, and piety, and the coming . of falie 
teachers •, alfo when they command the faithful to 
^examine into the truth of doctrines. Third. Every 
particular Church, the Paitors of a Church, or any 
particular denomination of Chriftians may err, 
therefore, the whole united body of Chriftians, 
and Pallors may err. Fourth. Kiilory informs us, 


12 Part II. Sect. V. Chap. I. 

tliat the Jewifn and Chriftian Church, as likewife 
the rulers of both, r.ay, whole general Councils 
have erred. Particularly the Romiih Church, and 
the Pope, have erred moil: bafely, which will fuf- 
ficiently appear, by looking into the Councils of 
Conftance, and Trent •, it is likewife confirmed 
from this, viz. that Councils have made decrees 
directly contrary to each other. 

Perpetuity. Which fignifies that the Church 
will endure to the end of the world. A queftion 
is here moved, between us and the Roman Church, 
whether the Church can totally decay ? We anfwer 
that it cannot. Firft. Becaufe it is impoflible that 
it mould be totally extinguimed. Second. It is 
likewife impoflible, that no faithful perfons mould 
be found in the world. But the Church may fall 
away, i. e. Firft. The number of faithful men, or 
of Chriftians, may be greatly diminifhed, and er- 
rors, abufes, ignorance, vice, may almoft every 
where prevail. In fuch circumftances, the Church 
apoftatifes, in part, but not totally, and fuch was 
il\Q ftate of it before the reformation. Second. 
There is no particular Church, which may not 
apoftatife from the faith, and -embrace the moft 
grievous errors, yet it is fcarcely poflible, that fuch 
corruption, mould infect all its members to fuch a 
degree, that none truly faithful mould remain. 
This may be proved, Firft. From Scripture. For 
a dreadful, and nearly a general apoftacy was pre- 
dicted. 2 Theft! ii. 3. For that day fhall not 
come, except there come a falling away firft. 2 
Tim. iii. 1. &c. Rev. xiii. 8. and xii. 5. 6. 7. 


Concerning the Church in general 3 1 3 

Second. Experience teacheth the fame thing. Un- 
der the Old Teflament, the Church was not always 
eminent, and the number of the faithful was but 
fmall, as in the times of Noah, Elias, Antiochus, 
cVc. Under the New Teftament, innumerable 
Churches had apoftatifed, both in Alia and in Afri- 
ca. The whole world had ahnoft revolted, under 
the Arians •, and in the following centuries, fuch a 
dreadful defection happened in the Latin Church, 
from purity of doctrine, worfhip, and morals, that he 
mull: be blind who could deny it. 

The principal ufes. 1. The great kindnefs of 
God towards mankind, whofe pleafure it was, to col- 
lect a Church from among them ; likewife the hap- 
pinefs of our ftate, whom he hath called to be its 
members. Heb. xii. 22. 23. Under which title 
let us exprefs our gratitude to him, efpecially when 
we reflect, that we are of the number of thofe, who 
have been favoured with the purer light of the Gof- 
pel, and have been freed from Idolatry, and thofe 
errors which have crept into the Church. 

2. The fecond ufe is taken from the title of 
Catholic ; which word denotes, that there is only 
one Church diffufed over the whole world, whence 
it follows, that all Chriftians mould maintain unity» 
and concord with each other. In this refpect, the 
ftate of the Church is very imperfect. For that 
union is deftroyed by fchifms, fects, anathemas, (o 
that there is not one Church, but many, oppofing 
each other by mutual animofities. 

Y 3. The 

J 14 Part II. Sect. V. Chap. I. 

3. The third ufe will be, to treat of the threefok; 
duty of the members of the Church, which we have 
inculcated above. All indeed make a public, pro- 
feffion of the Chriftian faith, but many do not fub- 
mit, to order and difcipline, and the feweft in num- 
ber teftify, their being Chriftians in reality, by their 
faith, and innocence of morals. 

From the Church being denominated holy, we 
conclude, that the principal fcope of the divine vo- 
cation, is fanctity, and that it is the duty of Chrif- 
tians to be intent upon holinefs, and to feparatc 
themfelves from the pollutions of the world, which, 
if any one neglects to do, he to no purpofe, boafts 
of the appellation of Chriftian, nor do fuch belong 
to the Church. At prefent there are many impious, 
and openly prophane perforcs in the Church, on ac- 
count of the defect of difcipline, who yet ought by 
no means to be tolerated, as likewife many hypo- 
crites, who are unknown to men •, but let us reflect, 
that God knoweth thofe that are his, and that the 
time is approaching, when he will feparate them 
from true believers. 2 Tim. ii. 19. The foun- 
dation of God ftandeth fure, having this feal, the 
Lord knoweth them that are his. Matt. xiii. 42. 

Chap. II. 

Of the Government and Mhilftry of the Church. 

AS the Church is governed, Firft. By the Mi* 
niftry. Second. By Difcipline, we mail here 
treat of both. 

I. Of 

Upon the G. and M. of the Cbtirch. 3 1 $ 

I. Of the Miniftry. Here in the fnft place, we 
fhall treat of the inftitution of the Miniftry. Se- 
condly. Of the Minifters themfelves. Thirdly. 
T/ieir Vocation. Fourthly. Their Office. 

It has been the Divine pleafure, in order to col- 
lect, and to preferve his Church, to make ufe of the 
miniftration of men. He did not chufe to teach, or 
govern his Church by Angels, or extraordinary re- 
velations •, but he chofe the Miniftration of men, of 
his confummate wifdom, and made choice of this 
mean, as being mod agreeable to the nature of man. 

The neceftity, and divine origin of the Miniftry, 
may be proved from various paflages in Scripture. 
Eph. iv 11. Chrift gave fome Apoftles, fome Pro- 
phets, fome Evangelifts, fome Paftors and teachers. 
Acts. xiv. 23. Tit. i. 5. Where Paul writes to Ti- 
tus, that he left him in Crete, to ordain Elders, or 
Prefbyters. The univerfal confent* and conftant 
practice of all churches that ever exifted, prove this, 
as likewife the fignal utility, and neceftity of this 
office. For without it, neither knowledge, nor pie- 
ty, nor order, nor union, could be maintained. 
Eph. iv. 12. 13. He gave paftors for the per- 
fecting of the Saints, for the work of the Miniftry, 
for the edifying of the body of Chrift, until we come 
in the unity of the faith. And fuch is the nature of 
fevery fociety, that it ftands in need of fome govern- 
ment over it, fo that diforder and confufton, might 
be prevented, which Fanaticks, and fuch as oppofe 
the Miniftry, are fo eager to introduce. 

Y % II. But 

iiG Pari 11. Set!. V. Chap. II. 

II. But the Minifters whom God thought fit to 
employ, are either extraordinary or ordinary. The 
extraordinary are, Firft. Apoftles, whofe vocation is 
related, Matt. x. 12. Their prerogatives are as fel- 
low, (a) They were chofen and commhTioned bv 
Chrift himfelf. (b) They were witnefTes both of his 
life, and refurrection. Acts. i. 21. 22. (c J They 
were inftrucled by the Holy Ghoft, who lead them 
unto all truth, (d) They were fent unto all nations, 
Matt, xxviii. 19. So that being bound to no par- 
ticular flock, and becaufe they were the firft preach- 
ers of the Gofpel, they are denominated the founda* 
tions of the Church. Eph. ii. 20. 

2. Prophets, of whom feme predicted future 
events and announced hidden things, which they 
had by divine revelation, fuch as Agabus, Acts xxi. 
10. Others taught and interpreted the Scripture, 
in which fenfe the word Prophecy is under flood. 1 
Cor. xiv. 1-4. &c. 

3. Evangelists. Thefe were the Apoftles vi- 
cars, or affiftants, who were fent to various parts of 
the world •, fuch were Titus, Lucas, &c. 

With refpecl to ordinary Minifters, it ought to 
be obferved firft of all : That Chrift and his Apo- 
ftles, inftituted no new form of Government ; but 
followed that which took place, in the fynagogues 
cf the Jews. This is difcernable in other points. 
For both the Sacraments, and form of divine wor- 
fhip, viz. praifes, reading, prayers, and the particu- 
lar circumftanccs of their facicd aflemblies, and 


Upon the G. and M. of the Church. 3 1 7 

difcipline, of which we are toon to treat, were deri 1 
from the practice of the Jews. 

In their fynagogues were elders, or Prefbyters -, 
likewife there was a Prefident, or Ruler of the fy- 
nagogue, Bifhop, Charan, head of the Church, or 
Angel of the congregation. Lightfood dpmonftrates 
this fully, Vol. II. P. 20. and 279. H^nce the 
Apoftles ftill retained thefe names. 1 Tim. iii. 1. 
1 Pet. v. 1. Rev. ii 1. With refpecl to the fignifi- 
cation of which names, we are not to judge according 
to the modern ufe of them, or the ideas which at pre- 
fent we affix to them^ but from the ufage and prac- 
tice of the Jews, and primitive Chriflians. There- 
fore, for the government of the Church, were ap- 
pointed Bifhops, Prefbyters, Minifjers, &c. 

It may be afkedhere, whether the ofrice of Bi- 
mops, be different from the ofrice of Prefbyters, {o 
as that Prefbyters and Bifhops, do conftitute two 
diftincl orders. We anfwer, that there is no erYen- 
tial difference between them, and that they both be- 
long to the fame order. For the Scripture confounds 
Bimops and Prefbters together, fee Acts xx. 17. 
compared with verfe 28. Tit. i. 5. compared with 
verfe 7. Yet it cannot be denied, that in the pri- 
mative Church, there was always a Prefident, or 
.head of the Prefbytery, who prefided over others, 
who were in a date of equality with himfelf. " This 
is invincibly proved, from the catalogues of Bimops, 
to be found in Eufebius and others. In them, we 
may fee the names of the Bifnops belonging to the 
principal churches, many of whom were ordajned, 
Y 3 wfcilft 

3x8 Part II. Sea. V. Chap. II. 

whilil the Apofilcs, but efpecially John, were ftili 

It is afked, whether there be two kinds of Prefby* 
ters, fome of whom do preach the Gofpcl, and other? 
are employed with Minifters, in the government of 
the Church, and who with us are termed Anciens 
or Elders ( Acltefte) ? We anfwer, that their infti- 
tution is of advantage, yet it cannot be proved, 
either from ecclefiaftical hiftory, or from Scripture. 
That patfage, i Tim. v. 17. Let the Elders that 
rule well be counted worthy of double honour, efpe- 
cially they who labour in the word, and doctrine, 
proves nothing ; otherwife it would follow, that a 
reward was due to ruling Elders. 

The office and inftitution of Deacons is defcribed. 
Acts vi. It is to be lamented, that this order has 
been aboiiihed in the moil of Churches. Afterwards, 
other orders were conftituted, as may be feen in 
the Church of Rome, and Greece. In the Church 
of Rome, are the Orders, viz. four lerTer ufhers, 
Readers, Acolytes, Exorcifts, three greater, Sub- 
deacons, Deacons, Prefoyters or Priefts ; afterwards, 
for the prefervation of order, Archbifhops, or Me- 
tropolitans, were fet over the Bimops of each Pro- 
vince, over thefe again were placed Primates, or Pa- 
triarchs, and over them the Pope. In fubfequent 
ages, is added, the office of Cardinals, who were 
formerly Prenbyters, and Deacons, belonging to the 
Church of Rome. Hence the diitinction, between 
Cardinal Bifhops, and Cardinal Deacons. 

III. With 

Upon the G. and M, of the Church* 319 

III. With rcfpect to the vocation of Mini;ters, 
there are two particulars which merit our attention. 
Firft. The qualifications of the perfons to be called, 
Second. By whom the call is to be rendered. 

1. As to the former, Paul informs us, 1 Tim. iii. 
i-j. If a man defireth the office of a Bifhop, he de- 
fireth a good work, &x. And the qualifications of 
a Bifhop, according to Paul, refpecl either his learn- 
ing, or morals. Hence emerges a twofold duty, 
viz. the one of fuch as prefer the call, and the other 
of fuch as are called. The former ought to confidec 
attentively, whether the perfons whom they call, 
are furnifhed with neceMary endowments. But the 
latter mould take care, that they be properly pre- 
pared for undertaking the ministerial office, by ftu- 
dy, reading the Scriptures, but efpecially piety and 

2. The right of vocation belongs to Prefbyters, 
and the Church. Tit. i. 5. Acls xiv. 27. Preiby- 
ters, have the right of examination, election, and 
ordination. But the Church are inverted with the 
right of approbation, or refufal ;- fo that the abufe 
might in no wife be approved of, which hath pre- 
vailed in the moft of Churches, that Bifhops mould 
be appointed at the pleafure of Princes, and the vo- 
cation of Parlors depend upon the civil niagiftrate, 
which oppofes the word of God, and the practice of 
the primitive Church, and has been the fource of 
many evils in the Church. 


320 Part II. SeR. V. Chap. II. 

But that order which ought to be obferved in 
the vocation of Paftors, is not neceffary, unlefs in a 
Church already conftituted. The cafe is quite other- 
wife, with refpect to a Church when decayed, or 
which has not yet been eftablifhed. So that the 
Romans, without caufe, enter into a controverfy 
with us, refpecting the vocation of our Reformers, 
fome of whom yet had their vocation in the Romifh 

IV. The oflice, and duty of Paflors, of Minitters 
of the Church, confids, Firft. In preaching of the 
Word. Tit. i. 9. 2. Tim. iv. 1. 2. Preach the word, 
be inftant in feafon, out of feafon, reprove, rebuke, 
exhort with all long fufFering, and doctrine. Se- 
cond. The government of the Church, which was 
committed to them, by Chrift. 1 Tim. iii. 5. and 
through the whole of the New Teftament : And it 
hath teen retained by the ancient Church, for the 
fpace of fifteen centuries. But at prefent, under the 
Reformation, the power of governing the Church, 
and theexercife of difcipline, is, in the moil of pla- 
ces, extorted from Miniilers by the political magi- 
strate i fo that nothing now remains to them, but 
the power of preaching, and they can only be term- 
ed Preachers, but not Rulers, or Parlors of the 
Church. In the primitive Church, all Minifters did 
not preach, and there were many who were entirely 
taken up in its government. It is likewife of uti- 
lity to hold Synods, in which ecclefiaflical matters 
fhould be handled, in order that Pallors might be 


Upon the G. and M. of the Church. 321 

kept within the bounds of their duty, and order be 
maintained and preferved in the Church. 

The ufe of this doctrine refpects either the Laity, 
or the Church, or Minifters themfeives. 

I. Here the goodnefs and wifdom of God are 
confpicuous, who has made fuch provisions for the 
Church's edification, by the inftitution of a Miniftry, 
#nd befides, the neceiTity of this office ought to be 
acknowledged : For it is by his Minifters that Chrift 
overrules, and fuperintends what relates to his 
Church ; it is by them that he invites the faithful, 
and conducts them to eternal life. Minifters are 
God's alTiftants, in the work of ialvation, and with- 
out their miniftration the Church could not fubfift. 
Wherefore it is the duty of Chriftians, to render 
thanks unto God, for fo great a benefit, to demean 
themfeives reverently towards the facred miniftry, 
and hold them in eftimation. 

Again, they ought to make a proper ufe of 
them, to fubmit themfeives to their Paftors, both in 
doctrine, and difcipline. Heb. xiii. 17. Obey them 
that have the rule over you, and fubmit yourfelves : 
for they watch for your fouls, as they that mult 
give account, that they may give it with joy, and 
not with grief. Which if any refufe to do, they 
offend againft Chrift, and bring down eternal de- 
ftruction upon their own fouls, &c. 

II. These things ought to be carefully weighed 
fcy Minifters : Let them reflect upon the dignity, 


322 Part II. Seel. V. Chap. II. 

and nature of this moft facred function. Its dig-r 
nity is of fuch high importance, as cannot be fur- 
pafTed, which the very nature and fcope of this of- 
fice fufEciently evince -, confequently, fuch as are 
inverted with this office, or afpire after it, mould 
demean in fuch a manner, as to be wor- 
thy of it : Let them reflect, that they are m^n of 
God, the legates of Chrift, and fuccenors of the 
Apoifles. Let them ufe their utmoft efforts, to pu- 
rify themfelves, by the ftudy and practice of piety ; 
and again, to be furnifhed with necefTary gifts. Let 
them likewife attend to the nature, and duties of 
the Miniftry; left they mould imagine, as the moft 
of men do, that the whole of it is difcharged by 
preaching. They Ian c under an egregious error, 
who think fo. The particular infpection over their 
flock, is committed to their charge, private admo- 
nitions, family vifitations, the exercife of difcipline. 
This Paftors ought to be continually intent upon. 
Befides, they ought to prefide over their flock, by 
their example, becaufe this procures energy, and 
authority to their preaching. Let fo much fuffice 
to be obferved briefly upon an argument moft co- 

Chap. III. 

Concerning Difcipline. 

CONCERNING Difcipline, the two following 
particulars are to be confidered. Firft. Its 
neceffity. Second. Its nature. 

I. The 

Upon Difcipline. 323 

I. The neceffity of difcipfine is demonftrated by 
three arguments. 

1. From the word of God, Matt. xvi. 19." 
Where Chrift fays unto Peter, I will give unto 
thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. And xviii. 
18. 1. Cor. v. Concerning the excommunication 
of the inceftuous perfon. Likewife, the Epiftles to 
Timothy and Titus. Which paffages are expound- 
ed in our treatife, upon the fources of the degene- 
racy of Chriftianity, part 2. c. 2. which any one 
who pleafes may confult. 

2. the practice of both the Jewifh, and 
Chriftian Church. Firft of the Jewifh Church. 
For that form of eeclefiaftical government, which the 
Lord Jems and his Apoftles prefcribed, was, ac- 
cording to that, which took place in the fynagogueS 
of the Jews. Difcipline, and excommunication, 
were obferved by the Jews, after the captivity, and 
their, excommunication was twofold, the firft Segre- 
gation, by which the delinquent is feparated from 
the fellowship of others, for fome time, fo that a 
perfon could not lawfully converfe with him, with 
freedom and familiarity. The latter, Anathema, 
by which the delinquent is totally feparated, and 
devoted to execrations. Chrift; hath approved of, 
and eftabliihed this order. 

But the Chriftian Church, hath conftantly retain- 
ed this difcipline, viz. reparation, and excommuni- 
cation, as is moft evident from eeclefiaftical hiftoiy, 
nor was there any Church in the primitive ages of 


324 Part II. Seff. V. Chap, III . 

Chriftianity, in which it was not obferved. Many 
things might be faid here upon the difcipline of the 
ancient Church, concerning the various degrees of 
penitents. But this requires a particular treatife. 

3. From the nature of the thing itfelf. For 
without order and difcipline, no fociety can fubfift. 
But this order is the more neceflary in the Church, 
becaufe it is a fpiritual fociety, which is not govern- 
ed by force, or coercive power, as civil focieties are. 
Second. By Difcipline we confult the honour of the 
Chriftian religion, and the Church, which might 
be juftly called in queftion, if it tolerated vice, and 
fcandal j it is likewife fubfervient to the converfion 
of finners, to the edification, and confirmation of 
the godly. Whence it appears, how imperfect the 
ftate of almofl all Churches, is at prefent, being 
deftitute of this facred difcipline. The objections 
which are commonly urged againft difcipline, arc 
examined in our treatife quoted above. Part 2. 
Chap. 2. 

II. As to the nature of Difcipline, \ae may attain 
to an accurate idea of it, by attending to the fol- 
lowing particulars. Firft. By whom it is to be ex- 
ercifed. Second. Againft whom. Third. How, 
and by what means. 

i. The exercife of difcipline, belongs to the 
Paftors, and governors of the Church, neither is it 
lawful, to transfer it to others. There are fome 
who imagine, that as the people may choofe this, or 
the other form of government at pleafure, and con- 

Upon DifcipiiriS. 32s 

fer authority on one, or more perfons, fo they may 
commit the government of the Church, to the ma- 
giftrate, but this is an egregious abfurdity : For 
here, the people have no right, to change that form 
of government, which Chriit hath instituted. For 
Chrift himfclf hath delivered that government to 
Paftors, fo that without facrilege, it cannot be ex- 
torted from them. The government of the Church, 
and the government of civil fociety, are two diftinct 
things, and feparate from each other. 

But that the exercife of difcipline, and the gov- 
ernment of the Church, was committed to Mini- 
fters, is evinced, from the titles given them, as 
Governors, Biihops, Parlors, &c. Likewife, 1 Tim. 
iii. 5. Heb. xiii. 17. &c. And this power they al- 
ways were inverted with, until the time of the refor- 
mation, when ' the power of difcipline was wrcfted 
out of their hands. 

Here, therefore a twofold error is to be con- 
demned. Firft. Of Anabaptifts, and Fanaticks, 
who totally reject the Miniftry. Second. Of Poli- 
ticians, who have ufurped the authority of Paftors, 
and the Church. 

2. Discipline is to be exercifed againft erro- 
neous perfons and fmners. Againft the erroneous. 
Rom. xvi. 17. 2 John v. 10. Tit. iii. 10. A man 
that is an Heretick, after the firft, and fecond ad- 
monition, reject. Againft finners. 1 Cor. v. 11. 
If any that is called a brother, be a fornicator, or 
an Idolater— with fuch an one do not eat \ and eife- 


326 Part II. Sett. V. Chap. IIK 

where. Yet discipline, and excommuiiicatiofl 9 - 
ought not to be levelled againft all who are errone- 
ous, or Sinners. But only againft fuch as err, or fin 
grievoufly, or in a public manner. 

3. We are now to fee how difcipline is to be ex- 
crcifed. In the exercife of difcipline, fpiritual means 
ought to be applied, not violence, corporal puniSh- 
ments, imprisonment, &c. But there are two acts 
of difcipline, according to the word of God. The 
firft is admonition, which muft be done, firft pri- 
vately, and afterwards in a public manner. Matt, 
xviii. 15. If thy brother mail trefpafs againft thee, 
go and tell him his fault, between thee and him 
alone, &c. What method is to be pbferved in ad- 
monitions, we learn from Gal. vi. 1. If any man be 
overtaken in a fault, ye which are fpiritual, reftore 
fuch an one, in the fpirit of meeknefs. 2 Tim. iv. 
2. 1 Tim. v. i. 2. Rebuke not an Elder, but in- 
treat him as a father, and the younger men as bre- 
thren. Hence appears, the vaft need that Minifters 
fcand in, of erudition, in order that they might in- 
ftrucl others, as likewifeof zeal, boldnefs, meeknefs,- 
patience, and Singular prudence, for if thefe are 
wanting, all admonitions will be to no purpofe. 

The fecond act is Separation ; which is twofold, 
leSTer and greater. The leffer confifts in exclufion 
from the Holy Supper. That prophane and im- 
pious perfons Should not be admitted to the Holy 
Supper, may be proved. 

4. From 

Upon t>ijcifune. $ij 

a. From the practice of the Je\vim Church, who 
excluded fuch from their facrcd communion. 

b. From the constant and univerfal practice cf 
the Church, for many centuries. 

c. Because the Scriptures prohibit the acknow- 
ledgement of fuch, as brethren, and forbids our eat- 
ing with them. 

d. From varions reafons, drawn from the edifi- 
cation of the Church, and the falvation of finners. 
Yet there are innumerable churches at prefent, in 
which all are admitted indifcriminately to the Holy 
Supper, nor is it in the power of Parlors to prevent 
them of a participation of it ; which abufe, truely, 
is moft grievous, and unfufFerable. 

The greater excommunication is, that by which 
the Church declares, that it will not account a perfon 
as a brother, becaufe he openly teftirles that he is 
not a brother. The pavfages of Scripture, and ar- 
guments already produced, prove that this ex- 
communication is of divine authority, and apoitolic- 
al inftttution ; nor was this matter ever controvert- 
ed, during the {pace of fixtcen centuries ; but in 
the time of the reformation, it was always every 
where abolifhed ♦, whilrt our Doctors, Calvin, Occo- 
hmpaduis, Bullingerus, Zevinglius, and others were 
calling out loudly againit it. 

We have now to make fome obfervations, con- 
cerning erroneous perfons, or Hereticks •, there' are 


J28 Part II. Seet.V. Chap. III. 

fome who imagine, that corporal, nay, capital pun- 
ifhmcnts, ought to be infiieled upon them. Of 
this opinion were * Calvin, Beza, who wrote a trea- 
tife concerning Hereticks, and others, among whom 
we may reckon RyfTenius, Vol. II. p. 158. Hence 
Servetus was burnt by Calvin's influence at Geneva. 
But others condemn this opinion as cruel. The ma- 
gistrate can punifh none, nor cut them oft from the 
world, unlefs fuch as difturb the peace of fociety. 
Erroneous perfons ought firft to be admonifhed, 
fecondly, borne with. 2 Tim. ii. 24. 25. The fer- 
vant of the Lord mud be gentle unto all men, apt 
to teach, patient, -&c. As long as the error is light, 
and no damage threatens the Church thereby. In 
the third place, they are to be feparated and excom- 
municated. Tit. hi. 10. A man that is an Here- 
tick, after the firft and fecond admonition, reject. 
2 John v. 10. And by thefe means, the edification 
cf the Church is mofc effectually confulted. 

Uses. Since difcipline is of divine inflitution, 
and of fuch necefifity, who may eafily find, how to 
judge, concerning the prefent (late of the Church, 
and what is requisite to reftore it to its perfection. 
Any one, from reading the writing of the New 
Terlament, and the Hiflory of the ancient Church, 
will acknowledge, that in the prefent times, there 
is almoft no difcipline. There are many churches, 
in which adulterers, thieves, drunkards, and all 
other attroclous finners, are admitted, to the Table 


* How thefe great m:n may be excufJ,fa AJpb. Tttr- 
ret. Comp. of Eccles. Eijl.p. 392. 

Upon Difcipline. 329 

of the Lord, there is no excommunication, and the 
authority of Chrift's Minifters is quite banifhed, 
hence it comes to pafs, that corruption of manners 
is every where coming to a greater height, neither 
does the leaft glimmering hope of reformation, ap- 
pear. In this mod deplorable ftate of affairs, pray- 
ers ought to be offered up unto God, that he would 
have comparTion upon his Church ; and Pallors 
ought to ufe their utmoft efforts, to have this holy 
difcipline reftored* 

2. The duty of the members of the Church, is 
to fubmit to difcipline. For (ince it is authorifed by 
God, whoever they are who reject, or difpife it, in 
that very inftance, fhevv, that they do not belong to 
the fheepfold of Chrift. Here ought to be fhewn the 
criminality of rebellion againft difcipline, and of the 
contempt of ecclefiaftical admonitions, and cenfures, 

Yet we ought not to ftop here ♦, it is not fufficienfe 
to falvation, that a perfon be obnoxious to the difci- 
pline, and cenfures of the Church ; there are many 
impious perfons in the Church, mahv hypocrites, 
againft whom Minifters do not exercife difcipline, 
becaufe they are unknown, who have free accefs to 
the Holy Supper. Such, though tolerated, and ad- 
mitted, fhall not efcape the juft judgment of God» 
The Church is no judge of things unknown, as it is 
commonly exprefTed, but nothing is hid from God, 
he fearcheth into our very thoughts, as well as words, 
and actions. Wherefore we ought to entertain, and 
cherifh a mod ardent defire after real, folid, and in- 
ternal piety, fo that we may be found blamelefs, 

Z not 

330 Part II. Seel. V. Chap. IV. 

not only before men, which is but of little moment, 
but likewife in the judgment of God. 

C II a p. IV. 

Concerning the various State of the Church, 

WHAT remains now, is the laft chapter undt r 
that head, which relates to the Church, and 
that of considerable utility, viz. concerning the va- 
rious State of the Church, which leads us to confider, 
what the State of the Christian Church was, from the 
apoStolick age, down to the prefent time, and what it 
will be with refpect to doctrine, wormip, manners, 
and difcipline. For upon thefe four, principally de- 
pends the fafety of the Church, and this treatife is 
for the moft part historical. 

We Shall begin with the firfl ages of Christianity, 
and thence proceed, to the following times, and 
confider the (late of the Church under Popery ; in 
the third place we mall come to the Reformation •, 
and laftly fpeak fomething upon the fubfequent peri- 
ods, until the end of the world. 

I. In the time of the ApoStles, and primitive ages 
of Christianity, the Church was much more pure, 
than ever fince, which was owing chiefly to three 
caufes. Firft. Becaufe the Church at that time was 
under the government of the Apoftles, who were 
eminent for miracles, and authority. Second. Be- 
caufe Chriftians were obnoxious to perfections, for 
the Church is never more pure, than when under 
the crofs. Third. Becaufe, in thofe times, apoito- 


Concerning the various State of the C. 331 

■lick difcipline was executed, fo that then, there was 
not fo great a number of impious perfons to he found 
in the Church, as in fubfequent times. Yet vari- 
ous errors arofe, likewife various offences, with rei- 
pect to doctrine. It is particularly worthy of notice, 
that the errors of the ancient falfe teachers, and 
Hcrcticks, may be reduced principally to three 
heads. Firft. There were fome who erred with ref- 
pecT: to the perfon of Chrift, denying that he was 
the fon of God, and afTerting that he was but a 
meer man, as the Ebionites, and Cerinthians, 
againft whom it is faid, John wrote his Gofpel. 
Second. Others maintained, that faith in Chrift, and 
evangelical obedience, were not fufficient to faiva- 
tion, unlefs that circumcifion, and the Jewifh rites 
were retained •, and this was the point which was 
molt commonly controverted, in the times of the 
Apoftles. Third. There were other carnal men, 
who, under the pretext of grace, and Chriftian lib- 
erty, introduced licentioufnefs, refufed to fuffer 
perfecutions, and who gave themfelves over to car- 
nal lufts. Such were the Nicolaitans, Gnofticks, 
and others. Thefe were in a fpirited manner op- 
pofed, by James, Jude, Peter in his Second Epiftk, 
and John in his Epiftles, and Revelation. 

There were three principal fources of herefles. 
Firft. Falfe Philofophy, and the abufe of Philoio- 
phy ; for, from the time that the tenets, and me- 
thods of Philofophers were blended with the Chrif- 
tian religion, which is very fimple, all tilings began 
to degenerate. 

Z 2 2 The 

332 Part II. Sett. V. Chap. IV. 

2. The prejudices of the Jews, and their prcpof- 
teroiis zeal for the law of Mofes. 

3. Corruption of manners. For carnal men 
could not endure the crofs, nor diveft themfelves of 
the love of wealth, and pleafures, and by thfcfe 
means corrupted the pure dodrine of the Gofpcl. 

II. In the fubfequent periods, a great deprava- 
tion enfued, viz. when Emperors became Chriftians, 
and the Church began to enjoy tranquility and 
wealth •, and difcipline was either corrupted, or to- 
tally laid afide. At this time we may behold, the 
moil: grievous errors prevailing, many things were 
fet entirely afide, many additions made, many 
changes, errors, contefts, controverfies, fchifms, 
took place. That horrid ignorance which reigned 
in the following ages, greatly augmented this de- 
pravation of dodrine and religion, as likewife did 
the imprudence, and temerity of the fcholafticks ; 
and matters at length came to fuch a pafs, that the 
Sacred Scripture was entirely unknown, and true 
religion would appear to have been totally bammed. 
In woriliip, likewife, a great change was made, 
both with refpecl to its object, and the manner of it, 
viz. by the invocation of Saints, removal of the 
Calice, and rites in the celebration of divine wor- 
iliip, and the Eucharifl: : The Church likewife fuf- 
tained a great detriment, with refpecl to govern- 
ment ; for difcipline was abolifhed gradually, and 
in the rGom of it were fubitituted, indulgencies, au- 
ricular confeffion, and other abufes. Biihops and 
Fafiors, laying afide the preaching of the Gofpel, 


Concerning the various State of the C. 333 

and care of their fleck, gave themfelves entirely o- 
ver to fecular employments : Likewife, in morals 
there vas fuch a depravation, that fcanely any piety 
or faith were difcernable in the Church. Nay, even 
Bifhops, and Popes were men of mo ft defTolute mo- 
rals, and monfters of men, rather than men. Thus 
happened that general and dreadful apoftacy, which 
was predicted by Paul and John. 2 TheiT. ii. Rev. 
xiii. and xviii. And laftly, what confiimmated this 
evil, was, the Romim Church eftablifhcd thofe mod 
grievous errors, intolierable abufes, Idolatry, &c. 
By their decrees, this was done in the Council of 
Conftance, held in the year one thoufand four hun- 
dred and fourteen, and in the Council of Trent, cel- 
ebrated from the year one thoufand five hundred 
and forty-five, to the years one thoufand five hun- 
dred and fixty- three, fo that from that time, there 
remained no hope of reformation, on the part of 
the Romifh Church. 

III. We are now to confider the ftate of the 
Church under the Reformation. Thofe abufes and 
errors, were in a great meafure removed, by the 
bleftingof :he Reformation •, but it is to be obferv- 
ed, that the work of reformation was at firft inter- 
rupted, for a great part of the Weftern Church, did 
not admit it, neither did it take place, in the Eaft- 
ern and Greek Church. Secondly. It remained im- 
perfect, which is moftly difcernable, in the disci- 
pline and government of the Church, as likewife in 
morals. For with the reformed, the true govern- 
ment of the Church was changed, apoftolick diici- 
pline laid afide, and the whole authority engrofTed 

Z 2 by 

334- Part II. Sect. V. Chap. IV. 

by politicians, fo that at prefent the moft grievous 
abuies are flagrant, in many churches, with refpect 
to the vocation of Ministers, the exercife of disci- 
pline, the ufe of Sacraments, &c 

IV. There remains now the fourth, and that 
the moft happy period, viz. the time when Anti- 
christ, being cut off, errors, vices, fchifhis, laid afide, 
and tyranny, both temporal and fpiritual deftroyed, 
the Church ihail aflume a quite different appearance; 
then the Jews fhall be converted, and the Gentiles 
enter into the Church, which blefied Slate, hath 
been foretold by the Prophets, both of the Old. and 
New Teflament. 

Uses. What has been delivered concerning the 
various Slate of the Church, is of fignal utility, in 
order that we might be enabled, to form a right 
judgment, and have jufl fentimcnts, concerning 
thole matters, which appertain to religion : Hence 
we understand what is requisite, in order that the 
conftitution of the Church might be brought to per- 
fection : Hence it appears, that many controversies, 
which have been toSled about with much warmnefs 
of temper, are of very little moment, and that there 
are many things in the Church, which ought to be 
corrected, laid aSide, or undergo fome change. 

2. We ought to acknowledge the providence of 
God, who hath preferved his Church, in the midSl of 
fo many errors, perfecutions, fcandals •, but efpe- 
r.laily, appears the neceffity of the Holy Scriptures, 


Concerning the various State of the C. 335 

for unlefs the true religion had been preferved in 
Scripture, it might have been entirely loft. 

3. We ought to render thanks unto God, for 
that reftoration of the Church, which was accom- 
plished by the Reformation. 

4. We ought to ufe our endeavours, fo that thofe 
means might again be reftored, which tend to a 
perfect reformation. For we are by no means to 
acquiefce, in that ftate in which matters (land at 
prefent, as if it were the mod perfect. The ftate 
of the Church will be very imperfect, and unhappy, 
as long as the morals of Chriftians will be fuch, as 
they are at prefent, as long as ecclefiaflical difcipline 
will be banifhed, as long as contentions, and fchifms, 
will be (cm among the reformed themfelves, and as 
long as the Miniftersof Chrift are robbed of their 
authority, &:c. 

5. We ought to offer our fupplications unto 
God, that he would fhortly accompiifh, that excel- 
lent work, which he hath already began, and that 
he would bring about thofe happy times, in which 
truth, peace, order, and piety will reign. 


33 s Part II, Seel. VI. Chap. I. 


Concerning the AJJiJlances to Salvation. 

Now follows our treatife concerning thofe aflift- 
ances which God affords us, in order that he might 
bring us to falvation. Which doctrine is very ne- 
cefiary, in order that we might underftand, by what 
methods we may become partakers of eternal life ; 
as i Lib to make a proper ufe of thofe means. But 
theie are either external, or internal. 

C h a p. L 

Concerning the Internal AJJiftatices. 

¥ 1 VHE internal affiftances, are thofe operations 
Jj[_ of divine grace, and the Holy Spirit, which 
inwardly affect the mind. We fuppofe in the flrft 
splace, that God does not act only without us, but 
Jikewlfe within us, by affecting, and moving the 
foul \ and this is proven, Firft. Becaufe the heart 
of man is fubject to the influence of God, who, as 
he can imprefs motion upon the body, fo he can 
excite thoughts in the foul, and affect the heart. 
Second. The Scripture frequently fpeaks of this 
divine grace, and efHcacy, which moves the heart, 
bends it, and inclines it to obedience. Pf. li. and 
cxliii. io. Teach me to do thy will, for thou art 
my God, thy Spirit is good, lead me into the land 
of uprightneis. And cxix. through the whole pfalm. 
In many places it is faid, that God excites and in- 
clines the heart of kings and other men * which pla- 

Concerning Internal Ajjijlanccs. S37 

•es, do certainly denote an internal operation, and 
not only an external difpofition, or prefentation of 
objects. Nay, this internal operation of God, is 
diftinguifhed from external means t Acts xvi. 14. 
where it is faid, that God opened the heart of Ly«< 
dea, fo that me attended to the things which were 
fpoken of Paul. With refpect to thefe portions of 
Scripture, it is to be obferved, that the Scripture 
here fpeaks in a fimplc ftylc, and foch as is accom- 
modated to the capacity of the vulgar, and not in 
a fubtile, or philofophical manner. Now, if an in- 
ternal operation be not granted, the {qt\{q of thefe 
words will be far from being rlmple. Third. The 
corruption of human nature, and depravation of our 
faculties, renders this inward operation necefTary. 
Fourth. This operation has always been admitted 
both by Jews and Chriftians, and there is fcarcely 
any perfon, who would not acknowledge the neceffity 
of it, from his own experience. 

But it is objected here, that by this doctrine 
enthufiafm would be introduced. We anfwer, that 
a door would be opened for enthufiafm, if we main- 
tained, Firft. That internal operations are fuffici- 
ent, without the word of God, and external means. 
Second. If fuch an operation were held, as forced 
and impelled a man, fo that whether he will or will 
not, he muft yield to it. Such were the extafies, 
and infpirations of the Prophets. Third. If any 
perfon, under the pretext of internal infpiration, 
would produce a new doctrine, or new revelations. 
But we teach no fuch thing, nay, directly the con- 
trary. Firft. By that operation external means 


3$S Part II. Sett. VI. Chop. I. 

are not fet afrde, for thefe are ftill necefTary. Inteiv 
nal operation difpofes the faculty, but the object 
muft be propofed to it : This human nature re- 
quires. Second. That operation does not deftroy 
the ufe of reafon, and liberty -, nor does it move, o? 
impel a man, by a blind impulfe. Third. We re- 
ceive no doctrine, nor revelation, diftinct from the 
word of God : But we maintain, that his word is the 
only rule, or ftandard, according to which, all things 
are to be examined and tried. 

Neither ought it to be objected, that we 
fcarcely can determine, wherein this action confifts, 
which exerts itfelf upon, the foul, and its faculties, 
and moves them. The reafon why that cannot be 
explained, is at hand, viz. becaufe we are ignorant 
of the nature of our fouls, and how thoughts are 
raifed in them. We know not how God, being a 
Spirit, acts upon bodies, or how thoughts, and moti-f 
ons are exerted within ourfelves •, nor do we under-? 
ftand how our foul moves the body, or in what man- 
ner the body produces certain motions in the foul, 
and yet all thefe are moft certain. Therefore, it is 
no way marvelous, if we are not able to explain the 
manner of the divine operation. 

But God may excite man two ways : By acting 
upon the foul, i. e. by producing certain thoughts, 
and certain motions in it. He can likewife exert 
his influence upon the body and conftitution. And 
granting certain motions in the body, fuch and fuch 
motions muft necefTarily arife in the foul. The 
degrees of this operation are various, for fometimes 


Concerning Internal AJJiftanees. 339 

it moves the heart of a man but flowly, and at other 
times more powerfully •, fometimes it is fuch as men 
may refift, at other times it is fo powerful, as to 
produce obedience irrefutably, though not without 
our willingnefs. 

In the difpenfation of this grace, God acts mod 
freely, for he beftows upon fome a larger, and up- 
on others, a leffer portion of it, and when he bellows 
it, he does it gratuitously, and not out of merit. 
Befides, God acts agreeable to his juftice, and not 
holinefs. For there is no perfon, on whom he does 
not confer fome portion of it, and that is what all 
men experience within themfelves, and renders fin- 
ners inexcufablc. Befides, God oftentimes affords 
a greater degree of it, to fuch as make a becoming 
improvement of it. According to what our Saviour 
declares, Matt. xxv. 29. To him that hath, it 
fhall be given. On the other hand, when men abufc 
his grace, he deprives them of it. 

Uses. This doctrine concerning divine affirman- 
ces, ought to be laid before the people, efpecially that 
of internal affiftances, as being the mod; efficacious 
of all. Our duty with refpect to which is, 

1. To acknowledge the fuperlative love of God 
towards men, who procures their falvation fo libe- 
rally, and powerfully, who invites and impells us by 
fo many methods, fo that nothing is wanting to us, 
which is neceffary to life, and godlinefs. 2 Pet. i. 
3. &c. 

2. Since 

340 Part II. Sect. VI. C%>. II. 

2. Since the neceffity of divine affiftance, is fo 
great, it ought to be requeued of God, with the moil; 
ardent prayers. 

3. We ought to attend to thofe operations of di- 
vine grace. Admonitions of confcience, pious mo- 
tions, and affections, which we now and then experi- 
ence within us. Whenever thefe occur, God, calls 
us moft powerfully. 

4. It is our duty to make a proper ufe of thofe 
afTiftances : To improve the talent committed to 
our charge, leaft we be deprived of it, and not to 
quench the fpirit, nor refift its operations. 

5. Lastly. Hence it follows, that men are in- 
excufable, if they do not arrive at falvation. 

Chap. II. 

Of External Affifiances. 

THE doctrine of external affiftances is of great 
moment in religion. There is fuch a varie- 
ty, and multiplicity, to be found in thefe, that it is 
fcarcely poflible to enumerate them •, for there is 
nothing which does not afford an incitement, and 
afTiftance, to godlinefs. Yet we fhall point out fome 
of the principal ones, and they are twofold, there 
are fome of them, which we derive from the ordina- 
ry difpenfation of Divine Providence» and others 
from Religion. 

I. It 

Concerning External JJ/rJfances. 34 j 

1. It is certain that the Providence of God, is 
chiefly employed in procuring the happinefs of men, 
fo that the various events, and various circumftan- 
ces in human life, are fo many invitations, and aflif- 
tances to falvation. Amongft the afliftances of this 
kind, we reckon, 

1. A Liberal and pious education, which con- 
duceth very much to piety : This benefit, indeed, 
is not allotted to all, but in this men are culpable. 
For ft is the pleafure of God, that children mould 
obtain a religious education, and fuch as are favour- 
ed with it, muil have a fignal aid to godlinefs. 

2. The bleflings of God, which are both great, 
and innumerable, as foundnefs of body and mind, 
fuch things as inable us, to pafs over life in tran- 
quility, various deliverances, the patience of God, 
and his long fuffering towards the ungodly. Rom. 
ii. 4. Difpifeft thou the riches of his goodnefs, and 
forbearance, and long differing, not knowing that 
the goodnefs of God leadeth thee to repentance. 

3. Chastisements, difeafes, pains, poverty, 
and other adverfe circumftances, it cannot be deni- 
ed, that thefe ought to be counted amongft the 
mofr. efficacious means, as the Scripture every where 
teacheth. Heb. xii. 6. Whom the Lord leveth, 
he chafteneth. By adverfity, God avocates us from 
tht love of the world, and excites within us, a defire 
after fpiritual good. 

4. Various 

34* Part II. Sea. VI. G&#. II. 

4. Various examples, both of the juftice, and 
the wrath of God, againft the wicked ; and his love 
towards the godly ; add to thefe the fellowfhip, con- 
verfation, and examples of godly men. 

5. Fasting, which hath always been accounted, 
a mean to promote piety. For this we have the 
mandates, and examples of the Lord Jefus, and the 
Apoftles. Matt. vi. 16. 1 Cor. vii. 5. De- 
fraud not one another, except it be with confent, for 
a time, that ye may give yourfelves to fading and 
prayer. Ads xiii. 3. xiv. 23. As alfo the uni- 
versal practice of the Chriftian Church. It always 
v/as believed, even from the times of the Apoftles, 
that fatting was of ufe in fubduing the flefh, and ex- 
tinguishing the love of the world. Therefore, it is 
to be lamented, that this aid is omitted by the great- 
eft part of mankind. 

Uses. Very few attend to thefe afliftances, efpe- 
cially fuch as are offered by Providence. Here the 
mod of men do not at all acknowledge the intention 
of God, they behold various things, and have daily 
experiences of various occurrences in human life, 
benefits, chaftifements, examples, &c. But they 
never reflect, nor confider God, as inviting them by 
thefe, and ftretching out his aflifting hands. They 
have eyes, but fee nothing. 

With refpect to the aftiftances, which are de- 
rived from religion, a mod dangerous error hath 
prevailed amongft Chriftians ; viz. they imagine, 
that religion confifts in thefe external means which 


Concerning the Sacraments in general. 343 

yet are not religion itfelf, but afMances to religion. 
They think that they have difcharged their duty 
fufficiently, and are in a ftate of falvation, if they at- 
tend upon external worfhip, and ufe certain ceremo- 
nies. . This is that error, that hvpocrify which God 
fo often complains of in his word. 

3. Here it ought to be mown particularly, how 
men ought to ufe thefe means. 

Chap. Ill, 

Concerning the Sacraments in general. 

WE mall firft treat of the Sacraments in gene- 
ral, fecondly in particular. We mail only 
offer a few things in general, as there are but two 
Sacraments, the nature of which we are to explain in 
a more fpecial manner. Let it fuffice, to make forhc 
obfervations. Firft. With refpect to their nature. 
Second. Their number. 

The word Sacrament is not to be found in Scrip- 
ture, wherefore its meaning ought to be defined, 
left we mould have a controverfy about words. By 
Sacraments we underftand, certain facred rites, ce- 
remonies, external, or actions, inftituted of God, 
for the confirmation of his covenant. I fay rites, 
not the figns alone, for the fign of itfelf, bread and 
Wine, does not conftitute a Sacrament, but the en- 
tire action with the words which are ufed concern- 
ing them, which obfervation is of much fervice, in 
order to a right understanding of this matter : For 
all conjtroverfies with refpect to this, and all errors 


344 Part II. Se8. VI. Chap. III. 

almoft, took their rife, from Chriftians placing their 
attention upon the fign only, and not the entire 
rite. Therefore two things ought to be confidered 
in Sacraments. Firft. The rite v or fomething vi- 
fible. Second. The fignification of the rite, or 
fomething invifible, but both thefe mud depend up- 
on the Divine pleafure only, fo that he alone can pre- 
fcribe fuch rites. From a fpecial confederation of 
Baptifm, and the Holy Supper, it may be under- 
stood, that Sacraments were inftituted, that they 
might be public pledges, and feals of the divine co- 
venant, both on God's part, and on our's. For by 
them, God offers, and confirms his grace unto us, 
and we teftify, and bind over our faith and obedience 
unto him. 

The efficacy of Sacraments is twofold. Firft. 
Objective, or moral •, as it fully prefents to our view* 
both the grace of God, and our duty. Second. 
Subjective •, as the grace of the Holy Spirit ac- 
companies the legitimate ufe of the Sacraments. 
The controverfy between us and the Romas, viz. 
Whether they have their influence in confequence of 
the action being performed, i. e. whether they con- 
fer grace, by virtue of the external action, without 
the devotion of the receiver, providing that he does 
not prevent it by a mortal fin. Likewife, whether 
they be abfolutely neceffary to filvation, as alfo 
whether the intention of the Minifler, be requifite, 
in order to a true, or real Sacrament. Thefe con- 
troverfies. I fay, are eafily folved, from what has 


Concerning the Sacraments in general. 345 

been already faid, and what we are afterwards to ob- 

II. As to the number of Sacraments, we have to 
obferve, left we mould fall into a controverfy about 
words, what we are to underftand by this term. 
For as the word Sacrament does not occur in Scrip- 
ture, it may be applied to various things, and fa- 
cred ufes, like the Greek word My fiery, which was 
even done by ancient writers, but if by Sacraments 
we underftand certain facred rites, prefcribed by 
God, for a confirmation of his covenant, and necef- 
farily to be ufed by Chriftians : There are only two 
Sacraments, which is evidently collected from the 
New Teftament, which two exactly correfpond with 
Circumcifion, and the PafTover of the Jews. Here 
fomething is to be faid concerning the five Sacra- 
ments, which have been fuperadded by the Romans. 

1. Confirmation, is the unction of chrifm, 
or ointment, which was made up, and confecrated 
by the Bifhop, for that particular purpofe, which 
rite is performed in the following manner : Per- 
fons who had received Baptifm, when they arrived 
at mature age, are annointed by the Bifhop in the 
forehead, after the form of a crofs, with certain 
rites, and prayers, and with thefe words, I fign thee 
with the fign of the crofs, and confirm thee with the 
chrifm of falvation, in the name of the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghoft. The Bifhop gives his peace to 
the confirmed perfon, with a flight box, to teach 
him to be in readinefs to endure perfecutions. The 
origin of this rite, is refered to the cuftom of the 
A a Apoftles, 

34°" Part II. &#. VI. Chap. Ill, 

Aporlles, who laid their" hands upon thole who were 
Baptifed, and confirmed* them in the faith, by the 
gift of the Holy Spirit. 

In confirmation there is fometVmg tthich is good, 
nay necefTary, viz. If perfonS having received #ap- 
tifm, when they arrive at mature age, give an ac- 
count of their faith, confirm their baptifmal vow, 
and are admitted to the Holy Supper, with bene- 
diction and prayer. The Reformers recommended, 
and were willing that this confirmation mould be 
retained, fee Cal. B. V. €. 19. But that unction of 
the chrifm, and other ceremonies ufually obferv- 
ed in the church of Rome, are vain ; nay, fuper- 
ititious, nor have they any foundation in Scrip-' 

2. Penitence, in which t!\ey diftinguifh between 
the matter and the form. The matter is the con- 
trition of the {inner, confefTion made to the Prielt, 
and iatisfaction. The form is the abfolution of 
the Prieft, concerning which we hold, that there is 
fomething in it which ought to be admitted, and 
fomething rejected. We acknowledge the necefiity 
of contrition, provided it be fincere and affecting. 
We likewife judge confeflion to be necefTary, viz, 
that we mould at all times confefs our fins to God, 
and in certain cafes only, to our neighbour, to the 
Church, and to Paftors, viz. when we have injured 
the Church, offended our neighbour, and when 1 on 
recount of fcruples of conference, we ftand in need 
of the counfel and afliftancc of Paftors. But au- 
ricular confeflion, with enumeration of every parti- 

Concerning the Sacraments in general. 547 

cular fin, ought by no means to be impofed upon 
tinners, as it is destitute of divine inftitution, and 
attended with various inconveniences. With ref- 
peel to fatisfaclion, we acknowledge that the Tin- 
ner ought to fatisfy his neighbour, if he has done 
him an injury, as alfo to fubdue his carnality, by 
faftings and other means. But thefe duties are no 
fatisfaclions for fins, and it is abfurd and tyrannical, 
to put Chriftians under the neceflity of undergoing 
whatever punifhments, or fatisfaclion the Prieft 
chufes to impofe upon them. With refpeel toab- 
folution, we hold, that Paftors have a right to an- 
nounce the remiflion of fins to the penitent \ but 
properly fpeaking, he cannot abfolve them. 

3. Extreme unclion is ufually adminiftred to 
perfons when afRicled with excrutiating pains, and 
{kwtn parts of the body are anointed. The eyes, 
ears, nofe, mouth, hands reins, and feet with con- 
fecrated oil, with this form : May God, by this holy 
unclion, and of his mod: pious mercy, pardon thee, 
whatever thou haft finned, in feeing, hearing, fmel- 
ling, &c. And they would have the efFecl of this 
unclion to be, a mitigation of the difeafe, if that 
be expedient, and the remiflion of fins. What 
gave rife to this rite, was the miraculous cures, 
which were performed by unclion. Mark xvi. 18. 
They fhall lay hands on the fick, and they fhall 
recover. And Jam. v. 14. 15. Is any one fick 
among you, let him call for the Elders of the 
Church, and let them pray over him, annointing 
him with oil, in the name of the Lord, &c. 

A a 2. Miracles 

34§ Part II. Se#. VI. Chap. III. 

Miracles having ceafed, that un&ion was er* 
roneoufly retained. There is no inflitution of this 
rite, as if it extended to all times, nor eould perfons 
agonizing, or in the pangs of death, perceive any 
benefit from it, either as to foul or body. 

4. We acknowledge that matrimony is of divine 
inftitution, but that it is not a Sacrament, is evident, 
becaufe it is not in common with all the faithful , 
and is to be found among Infidels, nor was it ever 
inftituted, as a confirmation of divine grace. That 
pafTage, Eph. v. 32. where the vulgar translation 
has the word Sacrament, which flgnifies in Greek, 
Myftcry, gave occafion to this doctrine of the Ro- 
man Church. 

With refpedfc to order, we have already men- 
tioned them in that chapter which treats of the Mi- 
ni ftry. Here we briefly obferve, Firft. That fome 
of them are neither neceflary, nor of divine infti- 
tution, as ufhers, exorcifts, &c. Second. We confefs, 
that the order of Bifhops, or Prefbyters, and Dea- 
cons, is divine. But thefe orders are not a Sacra- 
ment, fince they do not appertain to all the faithful. 
Third. Various vain and fuperftitious rites, are ufed 
in the collation of orders, neither is the vocation, 
and ordination of Bifhops, Prefbyters, and Deacons, 
performed in a proper manner. 

Uses. We ought to attend to the goodnefs 
and wifdom of God, which is confpicuous in 
thefe means, which he applies in procuring our 
falvation. As man confifts of foul and body, he 


Concerning tie Sacraments in general. 349 

aptly makes ufe of fuch means, as affecl: our fenfes, 
and excite attention. 

2. Hence we may learn, what judgment we 
ought to form, concerning the externals of religion. 
External things, rites and ceremonies, ought not 
to be unjverfilly condemned, mice God has been 
pleafed to prefcribe fuch. Therefore, they are egre- 
gioufly miftaken, who, under the pretext of perfec- 
tion, and godlinefs, reject thefe external means, as 
if thofe who ufed them, were but carnal men. The 
Apoftles themfelves, and the verv martyrs of the 
primitive Church, ufed them moft reverently, and 
frequently, &c. 

3. Since Sacraments are things of an external 
nature, of themfelves they are no way profitable. 
As they are means, they are of no utility, when 
feparated from their end viz. confirmation of our 
faith, and piety. Therefore, they ought to be 
treated with the greateft reverence, not only at the 
particular time, when we arc uflng them, but like- 
wife through the whole of our lives. Laftly, they 
hold thefe facred rites in eftimation, who being 
mindful of the grace of God, and their duty, con- 
form their lives to the precepts, and conditions of 
the divine covenant. 

A a 5 C.'h a p 

55® Pari II. to/. VI. Ckzt>. IV, 

C H A P. IV. 

Of Baptifm. 

WE have four things to consider, concerning 
this Sacrament. Firft. The inftitution of 
Baptifm. Second. Its rites. Third. Signification. 
Fourth. The Baptifm of infants. 

I. With refped to the firft: of thefe, it is to be 
obierved, that Baptifm was in ufe among the Jews. 
Profelytes were baptifed by them, though not of 
divine ihftitutjon. Befides, the Jewifh doctors bap- 
tifed their difciples, which rite John the Baptift 
ufed, and no perfon ofrended at him. 

The necerTity of Baptifm is proven, Firft. Be- 
caufe when (Thrift was in the world, his difciples 
baptifed. John iii. 22. and iv. 1. 2. And he himfelf 
prefcribed this rite in a folemn manner. Matt, 
xxviii. 19. 

2. The Apoftles initiated all who embraced the 
Gofpel, to (Thrift, by. Baptifm, and commanded 
every one to be baptifed. Acts ii. 3$. Repent, and 
be baptifed, every one of you, in the name of Jefus 
Chrift. And viii. 12. and %$. As likewife ix. 18. 
and x. 47. 

3. The doctrine of the Apoftles fuppoff % that 
he is not a Chriftian, who hath not received Laptifm. 
Eph. iv. 5. Rom. vi. 3. Know ye not, that (o 


Upon Baptifm. 351 

•many of us, as were baptifed into Jefus Chrift, were 
baptifed into his death, &:c. 

4. The univerfal practice of the Church con- 
firms this. 

II. The rites of Baptifm are very fimple, viz. 
immerfion into pure water, and fprinkling, with the 
pronunciation of certain words ; befides, the per- 
fons to be baptifed made a profeflion of their faith, 
and renounced the world and the Devil. The Holy 
Spirit was invoked upon them, they were conducted 
to the font, descended into the water, and were 
baptifed by the Minifter. Afterwards they were, 
delivered to their fponfors, milk and honey were 
.offered them to be tafted, they were confirmed by 
impofition of hands, cloathed with a white garment, 
and at length were admitted to the Eucharift. In 
fubfequent times, other rites were fuperadded, as 
fait, fpittle, exorcifm, which Bellarmin defences, 
upon the Sacrament of Baptifm. B. 1. C. 4. &c. 

III. The figniflcation, or fcope of Baptifm, is ad- 
miflion into the divine covenant, and the Church of 
God. Now, fince that covenant comprehends two 
things, the one on God's part, and the other on 
our's, it is evident, that Baptifm, on the part of 
God, confirms, and confers upon us the benefits of 
the Gofpel, as the remifilon of fins, the gift of the 
Holy Spirit, and a right to eternal life. Mark xvi.. 
16. And he that believeth, and is baptized, mail 
be faved. Acts ii. 28. Col. ii. 12. 1 Pet. iii. 21. 
Which benefits are Excellently reprefented, by the 


55« Part II. Sea. VI. Chap. IV. 

warning of water. But, on our part, Baptifm is a 
public declaration of our faith, and obedience to the 
Goipel j fo that it is a vow, or oath, by which we 
are iolemnly bound unto God. Baptifm, therefore, 
is a rite inftituted by God, by which we are admit- 
ted into the devine covenant, by the warning of 

IV. We are now to fee, who are the perfons who 
have a right to receive Baptifm, At the commence- 
ment of Chriftianity, adult perfons were baptifed, 
but at prefent, infants are dedicated unto God, by 
this rite ; which praclice is condemned by the Ana- 
baptifts. We hold, that Paedobaptifm is by no means 
to be condemned ; and maintain, 1 that it may be 
pioufly, and with advantage retained, providing, 
that as foon as infants have arrived at mature age, 
they publicly, and in the prefence of the Church, 
confirm their baptifmal vow. Without this confirm- 
ation, Paedobaptifm can fcarccly be defended. For 
fuch is the nature of Religion, that every perfon 
muft give an account of his own faith, neither can 
others do this for us, whilft we ourfelves remain in 
ignorance. But granting this confirmation, it may 
be defended in the following manner. 

r. The children of believers, by the right of na- 
tivity, are under the covenant, and in a better con- 
dition than the infants of Heathens. I Cor. vii. 14. 
They may therefore receive the fign of the cove- 
nant, in like manner as they were formerly circum- 


Upon Baptifm. 35 J 

cifed. viz. becaufe Baptifm was inftituted in the 
room of Circumcincn. 

2. We find, that Chrift blefled little children, 
which were brought to him. Matt. xix. 13. 14. 
And why might not the fame be done by the pray- 
ers of the Church, Pallors, and Parents. 

3. The Jews did not only baptize adult profe- 
lytes, but alio their children. 

4. We learn from the New Tenement, that the 
Apoftles baptifed whole families. 

5. That cuftom was introduced from the firft 
ages of Christianity, as we learn from Cyprian, and 
others, and at length was received by the univerfal 
Church. But now, with refpect to things which are 
attended with utility, we ought to acquiefce in that 
order, which is constituted in the Church, and they 
are culpable who oppofe it. 

Uses. Many are the fignal ufes of this doclrine, 
we fhall only point out four of them. 

1. The firft relates to that reverence which is 
due to this moit facred rite. For whether we at- 
tend to its author, the Lord Jefus Chrirr, or its 
fcope, it will appear, that this Sacrament is of the 
higheft dignity ♦, and therefore, as often as we ad- 
minifter it, it is not a trivial matter which we tranf- 
acl, but ferious, facred, and divine, which ought to 


£54 Part II. Sett. VI. Chap. IV. 

be duly weighed, by both parents and fponfors, and 
all who are prefent. 

2. This doctrine is attended with fignal confo- 
lation. We have caufe of inward joy, as often as 
we reflect upon our Baptifm, by which we are de- 
clared members, brethern, and coheirs of Chrift. It 
is mod certain, that God receives baptifed perfons 
into his covenant, and pours out his Holy Spirit 
upon them, unlefs they put fome obstruction in the 
way. How pleafant, how efficacious muft the 
thought of this be, in producing confolation, and 
an aflured hope, in the mofi adverfe circumftances, 

3. Let us be mindful, that by Baptifm we are 
called to holinefs of life. Paul teaches the duty 
of baptifed perfons. Rom. vi. As alfo the prac- 
tice of the ancient Church, reflecting the baptif- 
mal vow. It ought to be urged, that Baptifm will 
be of no avail, to fuch as do not live the life of 
Chriftians, and that they are not real members of 
the Church. 

4. I am of opinion, that Minifters would do 
•what is of the greater!: utility, if as often as they treat 
of Baptifm, they would direct their difcourfe to 
younger perfons. Fcr this doctrine ought to be 
applied unto them, in a particular manner, and is 
propounded to fuch, with greater advantage, than to 
adult perfens. 


Upon the Holy Supper. 3^5 

Chap. V. 

Concerning the Holy Supper. 

THERE are four things here to treat of. 
Firft. Thejuftification of this Sacrament. 
Second. Its rites. Third. Signification, and ufe, 
Fourth. The controverfies relating the to Holy 

I. The origin of the Holy Supper, is derived 
from the practice of the Jews, for they annexed this 
rite of breaking bread, to the PafTbver. But that 
this, rite is of divine inftitution, and confequently 
necefiary to be obferved, may be proved, 

1. From the inftitution itfelf, which is accurately 
defcribed by three Evangelifts, as alfo the words of 
Chrift : Do this in remembrance of me. Second. 
The Apoftles, immediately after Chrifi's afcenfion, 
obferved it, and prefcribed the obfervance of it, 
unto Chriftians. Acts ii. 46. and xx. 7. Where 
it is faid, That the difciples were met together to 
break bread. Third. The doctrine of Paul, 1 Cor. 
xi. fuppofeth, that it was ufual for Chriftians to 
celebrate the Holy Supper, and that this rite was a 
moil holy inftitution of Chrift himfelf, which ought 
to be ufed with the greateft reverence. Fourth. 
Laftly, it is manifeft, from the univerfal practice of 
the Church -, for there was never any Church in 
which the Eucharift was not celebrated. Therefore 
this rite is rightfully, and defer vedly retained. It 
only were to be wifhed for, that the ufe of it was 


$$6 Pari II. StSi. VI. Chap. V. 

more frequent •, for with the primative Chriflians, 
the celebration of it was frequent. 

II. Among the rites, we are to confider both the 
figns, and the actions relating to them. Firft. The 
figns are bread and wine. Unleavened bread was 
ufed in that fupper which Chrift celebrated, hence a 
controverfy arofe between the Greeks, who ufed 
leavened bread, and the Latins who ufed unleavened. 
But this controverfy is of little moment. It is evi- 
dent, that the Lord Jefus and his Apoftles, made 
ufe of common bread. Many affert, that wine mix- 
ed with water was ufed in the celebration of the Paff- 
over, and retain that cuftom at prefent. 

2. The rites, or actions, relating to the figns, 
belong either to the Minifter, or the people. On 
the Minifter's part, are benediction, or confecration, 
which the Romans aflert, is performed by thefe 
words : This is my body. But erroneoufly : For 
the benediction is nothing elfe but praifes, and 
thankfgivings which Chrift ufed, after the example of 
the Jews, who praifed God at the celebration of the 
ParTover, Hence we read, with Juftin Martyr, and 
others, that the ancient primitive Chriltians, gave 
thanks unto God, the author of all things, in the 
celebration of the Floly Supper. Breaking, which 
ought by all means to be obferved, Matt. xxvL 
26. 1 Cor. x. 16. Acts ii. 42. This rite has not 
only a refpect to diftribution, but to the reprefen- 
tation of Chrift's body, which was broken, fo that 
it is erroneoufly omitted by the Romans, and others. 
Diftribution, which was performed in various ways, 


Upon the Holy Supper. 357 

in the ancient Church. For fometimes Prefbyters, 
and at other time Deacons, distributed the bread 
and wine. 

The rites on the part of the people, and com- 
municants, are the taking of the bread into their 
hands, and the eating of it, and the drinking of 
the wine. Concerning all thefe, various rites have 
b^n formerly ufed, which Johnfton has defcribed, 
in his book upon the communion of the ancient 

III. Christ, and likewife Paul, declare the fig- 
nification of this rite. Chrift does it in thefe words ; 
Do this in remembrance of me. But what we are 
to underftand by -that commemoration, he teacheth, 
when he fays, that the bread is his body broken, 
and the wine is the blood of the new covenant, fhed 
for the remirTion of fins. Therefore, the Holy Sup- 
per reprefents to us the death of Chrift, and the 
benefits purchafed by it. But the reafonwhy Chriil: 
inilituted a rite in commemoration of his death, 
was, becaufe his death is the foundation of our fai- 
vation, in like manner as the Ifraelites were eman- 
cipated from Egyptian bondage, by the blood of 
a lamb. Paul, 1 Cor. xi. 26. For as often as ye 
eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do mew the 
Lord's death until he come, plainly declares what 
is the defign of this Sacrament. But to announce, 
or (hew forth the death of Chrift, is not only to call 
it to remembrance, but to render iblemn thanks 
unto God upon its account, and to renew its re- 
membrance with gratitude and joy. In like man- 

358 Part II. Sett. VI. C%>. V. 

lier as the Jews in their PafTover, returned folemri 
thanks unto God, for their deliverance from the 
Egyptians. Therefore, the principal duty of com- 
municants, is to return thanks unto God. But 
that duty cannot be fincere, and acceptable to God, 
unlefs it be accompanied with faith, repentance, the 
love of Chrift, and our neighbour, zeal, purity, and 
other virtues. Befldes this principal end, others may 
be affigned, viz. that the Eucharift is ? public mark, 
or token of Chriftianlfcy, a declaration of brotherly 
love, a renewal of the baptifmal vow, the fpiritual 
food of the foul, and a pledge of the refurredtion. 
But all thefe are comprehended in the end above. 
Thus we have briefly, and with the greater!: fimplici- 
ty, explained the nature of the Holy Supper. For as 
we are treating of a rite, which all Chriftians ought 
to celebrate, and understand its fignifkation, in treat- 
ing this argument, we ought to ftudy (implicity, and 
perfpicuity, and to abftain from a more prolix, and 
elaborate treatife, of the feveral queftions, which arc 
moved concerning it.* 

Concerning the eating of Chrift's body, and 
blood, many things have been laid, from John vi. 
With refpect to which we briefly obferve. Firft. 
That Chrift in that chapter, does not fpeak of the 
Holy Supper, which as yet had not been inftituted. 
Second. To eat his flefh, and drink his blood, is 
nothing elfe but to believe in him, which the read- 
ing of this Chapter moll: evidently demonftrates ; 
hence it follows, that this eating may be as well 
without, as in the Holy Supper. Third. If by 
eating, no more is denoted, but that we partake of, 


Upon the Holy Supper. 

Chrirr, and the benefits of his death, it is moft cer- 
tain, that we in this refpecl, do eat the flefh, and 
drink the blood of Chriir. If any thing more be 
denoted by this phrafe, and it be urged, that in 
the Holy Supper we do really feed upon, and are 
nourished by the real fubftance of the body and 
blood of Jefus Chrift ; it may be doubted, whether 
this be accurately enough fpoken ; for it cannot be 
conceived, how we mould become real partakers of 
the real fubflance of the Lord, and that his body 
not being prefent, mould be eaten. For the fub- 
ftance of his body is fomething corporal, in which 
we cannot communicate in a fpiritual manner, only 
as far as the fruits of Chrift's death, redound unto 
us. The Minifters of the Helvetic Churches, in the 
year one thoufand five hundread and feventy two, 
wrote to a national Synod held in France, requefting 
in an amicable manner, that the phrafe, That we re- 
ally feed upon, and are nourifhed by the proper fub- 
flance of Chrift's body, mould be changed in their 
confefTion of faith, and liturgy, which met with 
the Synod's refufal. Let Calvin be confulted, con- 
cerning that mode of expreflion. Inftance, B. iv. 
Chap. 17. Sec. 7. 

IV. Many controverfies have arifen, concerning 
the Holy Supper, which were originated from no 
other caufe, but Christians departing from the an- 
cient Mmplicity of this rite. DifmifTing various rites, 
and ceremonies, both vain, and fuperftitious, by 
which the Supper of the Lord hath been corrupt- 

360 Part. II. Sect. VI, Chap. V. 

ed by the Romifh Church, we mall here only point 
out four of their principal errors, and abufes. 

The firft error relates to the real prefence of 
Chrift' s body, which is defended by the Papifts, and 
Lutherans. The former hold, that the body of 
Chrift is prefent by tranfubftantiation, which fig- 
nifies, that the fubftance of the bread is changed 
into the fubftance of Chrift's body. Pafchafius 
Radbertus, in the ninth century, began to fay : 
That the flefh of Chrift was prefent in the Eucha- 
rift \ which opinion was refuted, in a particular trea- 
tife by Bertram. In the tenth century, that doc- 
trine began to fpread itfelf farther, whilft many were 
calling out againft it, as Berengarious ; and after 
him the Waldenfes. But it was only received in the 
twelfth century, and eftablifhed by the Council of 
Trent, in the fixteenth. The Lutherans teach, that 
the body is in, with, and under the bread, fo that the 
bread ftill remains bread, but that Chrift's real body 
is prefent with the bread. 

The opinion concerning the real prefence of the 
body of our Lord is refuted. Firft. Becaufe it is 
contrary to tht word of God, which teacheth, that 
Chrift has a real human body, and that the Hea- 
vens contain him : Likewife, becaufe it calls the 
Eucharift bread. Second. It oppofes right reafon, 
which does not admit our conceiving a body, with- 
out extenfion, viiibility, &c. Third. Becaufe the 
prefence, and the eating of the flefh of Chrift, is a 
thing monftrous, and of no utility to falvation, 
John vi. 63. Fourth. This opinion is abfurd, and 


Upon the Holy Simper. 361 

contradictory, and that, not only in one refpect, as 
has been invincibly demonilrated at rarge, by our 
teachers. As to what is objected, fr . : wor I; 

of Chritt, This is my body, The anfwer is eafy, 
viz. that they are to be underftood in a figurative 
fenfe. For Firft. Chrift fpoke after the cuftom of 
the Jews, who in the Pafibver ufed thefe words, this 
is the bread of affliction which our fathers did eat ifc 
Egypt. Second. This phrafe, This cap is the New 
Teftament in my blood, cannot be underftood in its 
proper fenfc, for the cup is not a covenant, but on- 
ly a leal of the covenant. Third. If thefe words, 
This is my body, were to be underftood properly, 
it would follow, that Chrift's body even at that time 
was broken ; for he exprefsly fays, This is my body 
which is broken. But if the breaking is not real, 
neither will the prefence be real. It would alfo fol- 
low that the Apoftles did eat the body of the Lord 
Jefus, whilft he himfelf did celebrate the Holy Sup- 
per with them. 

The fecond error is the Church of Rome's hold- 
ing, that the Euchariit is to be adored with as high 
a degree of religious homage, as God himfelf. We 
do not deny that adoration is due to Chrift, but the 
adoration of the Sacrament we reject. Firft. Be- 
eaufe there is no precept, no example relating to it. 
Second. Becaufe the Sacrament is not Chrift himfelf, 
but bread, confequently they involve themfelves in 
the guilt of Idolatrv, who pay religious worfliip un- 
to bread. It may be further obferved, that the 
people of the Romifn Church, are in perpetual dan- 
ger of Idolatry 3 becaufe, according to the doctrine 
B b of 

3?2 Part II. Sect. VI. Chap. V. 

that Church, the intention of the Prieft is neceflary, 
that confecration may be effected, and the Sacra- 
ment complete. But no one can be afTurcd of fuch 
an intention, and therefore cannot with any certain- 
ty, know whether confecration be rightly performed, 
and traniubftantiation accomplilhed. 

The third, and that a moll grievous and intole- 
rable error, is the laying afide of the cup. For in 
the firft place, we have the exprefs institution, and 
fpecial mandate of Chrift : Drink ye all of it. They 
anfwer to this, that this was fpoken to the Apoftles, 
as Apoftles, or Prefbyters, but not as laymen ; but if 
this availed any thing, the fame might be faid of 
the bread. Again, the Apoftles were prcfent at the 
Holy Supper, not as Prefbyters, but as faithful and 
private perfons. Chrift alone adminiftred it, and 
was a public perfon,- but the Apoftles reprefented 
t\\Q univerfal Church. The reafon which is added : 
Which is fhed for the remiftion of the fins of many, 
has a refpect to the whole body of the faithful, and 
proves, that the cup ought to be allowed unto all 
for whom Chrift fhed his blood. Second. The man- 
date of Paul, i Cor. xi. 28. Let a man examine 
himfelf, and fo let him eat of that bread, and drink 
of that cup, includes all that are faithful. Third. 
The univerfal Church during the fpace of ten cen- 
turies and more, communicated under both kinds, 
and communion under one kind only, was at length, 
after the year one thoufand four hundred and four- 
teen, prefcribed in the Council ofConftance. The 
objections which are offered, are mere trifles, as 
Luke xxiv. 30. And it came to pais, as he fat at 


Upon the Holy Supper* 363 

meat with them, he took bread and bleffed It, and 
brake and gave it to them, viz. the two diiciples 
going to Emmaus. And Acts ii. 46. The Holy- 
Supper is called the breaking of bread -, for in the 
former pafiage, the Sacrament is not fpoken of. In 
the latter, the breaking of bread denotes the en* 
tire and whole Sacrament. Likewife, that the faith- 
ful partake of the blood when they partake of the 
body, when the blood is included in the body ; this 
was what they term concomitance. Alfo, becaufe 
abftemious perfons may be found, as if a divine iii- 
ftitution, were to be altered on account of a few. 
With equal propriety it might be faid, that the 
word of God ought no longer to be read or heard, 
becaufe there are fome perfons to be met with, who 
are deaf or blind. Laftly, that communicating un- 
der both kinds, is obnoxious to various inconveni- 
ences, as that the blood of Chrift would be liable to 
be fpilt, &c. but fuch reafons are frivolous, nay im- 
pious, where the exprcfs mandate of Chrift is ex- 

The fourth error is the doctrine of the RomifH 
Church, concerning the facrirlce of the Mafs ; for 
it teacheth, that a real propitiatory facrirlce is offered 
in the Eucharift, in which Chrift is offered for the 
fins both of the living and the dead. We readily 
grant, left we mould combat about words, that the 
2>upper may be termed a Sacrifice, and that it was 
fo denominated by the ancients, on account of the 
Commemoration of Chrift's facrirlce, as alfo the fpi- 
titual facrifices of the faithful, prayers, praifes, &c. 
likswife Qn account of the oblations, that were 
B b 2 ufually 

64 Pari II. SeSl. VI. Chap. V. 

ufiially made before communion. But that in the 
Eucharift, the real body of Chrift is really offered 
in facrifice, we deny. Firft. Becaufe the Scripture 
no where makes mention of fuch a facrifice. For 
thck words, which are ufaaliy quoted, Do thefe 
things, &c. and that pafTage Mai. i. 1 1. Teach no 
fuch thing. Second. The Scripture teacheth many 
things which overthrow that facrince, as that Chrifr. 
is the only Prieft, and that his facrifk- is the only 
perfect one, and not to be repeated. Heb. ix. and 
x. Third. The nature of a Sacrament cannot con- 
lift vvith this. For a Sacrament is a commemorati- 
on of a facrince, but not a real facrifice. Fourth. 
To the effence of a propitiatory facrifice,- properly 
called fo, three things are requifite : A Prieft, a 
victim, and the death of the victim ; which three, 
by no means can take place here, as might be very 
cafily fhewn. 

Uses. Since the Holy Supper hath been mili- 
tated by our Lord, in order that it might be cele^ 
brated in the Church, Chriitians ought to be ex- 
horted to the proper ufe of it. Here every one 
ought feriouily to weigh, how holy a rite this is ; 
by whom it was appointed, viz. Chrift our Lord and 
Saviour \ the time when it was inftituted, viz. when 
he was very nigh unto death \ for what end, viz. 
that we might fhew forth his death. Therefore, 
nothing in religion is more holv, no act of external 
worfhip of greater moment, than the Holy Supper; 
fo that this act invites us, to the moft perfect dis- 

Upon the Holy Supper. 365 

charge of all the duties of a grateful mind, and of 
piety. • 


2. The duty of fuch as approach to the Holy 
Supper, is related, 1 Cor. -'xi. 28. 20. In 
they offend variously, who do not at all examine 
themfelves, or after an improper manner. Alio fuch 
as are entirely fatisfied without felf-examination, be- 
ing no way folicitous about the ition of 
their lives. Laftly, thofe who do not perfevere in a 
courfe of piety. But there can be no better pr 
ration, than to procure a habit of piety, in the ordi- 
nary courfe of life, and always to maintain commu- 
nion with Chrift, as well when celebrating the Sacred 
Supper, as at other times. They are all in an error, 
who imagine, that piety and devotion are only requi- 
lite, when we are called to the Eucharift. 

With refpect to the controverfies, concerning 
the Supper, the following particulars may be obfer- 
ved. When we reflect upon the errors of the Ro- 
mifli Church, the cuieftion may be propofed, how 
comes it to pafs, that errors and abufes of (o grofs 
a nature, have prevailed for fo many ages, and are 
ftill retained. The reafon of this is at hand. That 
proceeds from ignorance of the word of God, and 
the defect of knowledge, from prejudices, educa- 
tion, fear of perfecution, a defire of retaining wealth 
and dignities, &c. Wherefore it will be our duty, 
to render due thanks unto God, that we have been 
delivered from fo many, and fo grofs errors ; which 
yet will avail us nothing, unlefs our profeflion, and 
knowledge of the truth be attended with purity of 
B b 3 'life. 

^S Part 11, Sett. VI. Chcp.V. 

life. In vain do we bcaft, that thofe errors and abuf- 
es which relate to doctrine and worfhip, are remove 
ed, whilft others no lefs dangerous, are flagrant 
among us, I mean fuch as relate to morals, practice, 
and difcipline •, which arc equally inconfiftent with 
the word of God. 

These, ought likewife to impell us to the pro- 
per ufe of the Holy Supper. We reject the doct- 
rine concerning the real prefence of the Lord's bo- 
dy. But the divine and fpiritual prefence of Chrift, 
ought to beget within us, the highcft veneration. 
1 he Papiits adore the Sacrament. It is fit that wo 
fhould adore God and our Saviour, with the great- 
est humility, as fitting at the right hand of God. 
We partake of the cup, as well as the bread, but of 
what advantage will it be to us, to receive both figns, 
and to enjoy an entire Sacrament, if we abufe it, and 
trample under foot the blood of Chrift, as an unholy 
thing. We defend the perfection of Chrift's Sacrifice, 
in oppofition to the Sacrifice of the Mafs. But of 
what fervice will that be to us, if we render that fa- 
crifice unprofitable to us, through impenitence, and 
unbelief. It appears from what has been faid, how 
thefe controversies may be handled to advantage, 
*nd edification. 


Upon the State of Men after Death. 3*67 


Chap. I. 

Of the State of Men after Death. 

WE come now to the laft head of Theology, 
viz. that vvhich^-efpeds a future world, which 
confifts of five parts. Firft. Concerning the State 
of Men after Death. Second. The end of the 
World. Third. The Refurre&ion. Fourth. Uni- 
verfal Judgment. Fifth. Life and Death eternal 

With refpect to the ftate of men after death, it 
is to be obferved, in the firft place, that the foul 
does not perim with the body, which may be pro- 
ved. Firft. Becaufe right reafon informs us, that the 
foul is of a fubftance entirely different from the body, 
and not liable to corruption ; hence the very Hea- 
thens believed in the immortality of the foul. 
Second. From Scripture, Matt. x. 28. Fear not 
them which kill the body, but are not able to kill 
the foul ; but rather fear him, which is able to de- 
ftroy both foul and body in hell. Eccles. xii. 9. 
Then ihall the dull return to the earth as it was, 
£nd the fpirit mail return unto God who gave it. 

S68 Part II. &c$. VII. C%>. I. 

But it is queflioned, what the ftate of fouls will 
be, whei itcd from the body. Firft. Sbme 

have been of opinion, that the fouls ficpt, and were 
ute of all fcnfe, and perception, until the refur- 
rection, who are therefore termed, Pfichopannichites, 
or foul-fleepers, whole opinion ought by no means 
to be admitted, as appears from what has been al- 
ready faid, and will be evinced, from what we are 
afterwards to obierye. 

z. The Romans teach, that the fouls are in Pur- 
gatory ; that is^ the fouls or fuch as have not died 
in mortal r>n, to iatisfy there for venial, as alfo for 
mortal (ins, th^ guilt of whiati has been remitted, 
but not the puni/hment. That they are there tor- 
mented with corporal fire for fome time, in ordef 
to be purified, and fatisfy divine juftice. This doct- 
rine is defervedly rejected. For, Firft. There is not 
the leaft traces of this fire to be met with in Scrip- 
ture, nor of prayers for the dead, and other things 
connected with this doctrine. For thefe paiTages, 
I Cor. iii. iQ,. Every man's work mail be revealed 
by fire, and the fire fnall try every man's work of 
what fort it is, &c. And xv. 29. Concerning Bap- 
tifm for the dead, and Matt. xii. 32. make nothing 
for the purpofe. Second. The Scripture tencheth 
fuch things, concerning the Mate of fouls after death, 
as overthrow a Purgatory, as fhall foon be made 
appear. Third. That doctrine eppofes the perfect 
fatisfaction of Chrift, and the full remiflion of fins. 
Fourth. It was unknown in the firft ages after Chrift, 
' hd is onty calculated for procuring pain. It cannot 
indceB be denied, that even fo early as the third 


Upon the State of Man after Death. 3 69 

century, prayers were ufcd for the dead, but for a 
different end than thofe which are offered for the 
fouls which are faicl to be in Purgatory, viz. the an- 
cient Chrifttans returned thanks unto God, for the 
happy departure ef the Holy Martyrs, and prayed 
that he might grant them a happy rcfurreclion. 

3. It can fcarcely be afierted, that fouls after 
death do immediate^ -enter into the enjoyment of 
perfect and abfoiute felicity in Heaven, or that they 
endured the fame torments which Chrift by his laft 
fentence will inflict upon the wicked. For the Scrip- 
ture afligns both remuneration and punifhment, to 

the ultimate judgment of God. Matt. xiii. 41. &c. 
and xxv. 46. 1 ThefT. iv. 17. 2 Tim. iv. 8. There 
is laid up for me a crown of righteoufnefs, which 
the Lord the righteous Judge mail give me at that 
day, and not to me only, but unto ail them alfo 
which love his appearance. 

Besides, man cannot be perfect, as long as his 
body, which is an efTential part of him, is under the 
power of death. 

4. Yet we afTert, that the fou's of the godly are 
now in a fcate of felicity, and that they are in pof- 
feilion of tranquility and joy, in the prefence of the 
Lord. And on the other hand, that the wicked 
are miferable. Firft. Reafon teacheth us, that fuch 
is the nature of the foul, that it cannot be deftitute 
of fenfe and thought, or otherwife it mull perifri : 
Becaufe its efience confifls in thought. Therefore, 
if it were deprived of thought it mull: peri fh. Se- 

37o Part II. Sefl. VII. Chap, h 

cond. It was believed, that the fouls of the juft 
were received after death into a ftate of reft ; 
but that the contrary was the cafe of the wick- 
ed. This was not entirely hid from the Hea- 
thens, as appears from their fayings concerning 
the Elyfian fields, and Hell, and at prefent the 
inhabitants of Africa, China, and America, are not 
quite ignorant of it. We learn what was the opi- 
nion of the Jews, from the third chapter of Wif- 
dom y. i. 2. 3. and xvi. 14. and 2 Maccab. vii $6. 
and this was the received opinion among them, in 
the time of Chrift, as alfo among the primitive 
Chriftians, though they believed that the godly 
were* not to be tranflated into Heaven, until after 
the refurrection, which they prove by the example 
of Chrift. Third, the Scripture confirms this opi- 
nion. Ecclef. xii. 9. Matt. x. 28. Luke xvi. 22. 
23. Concerning the rich glutton and Lazarus. With 
refpect to which pafTage we may obferve, that 
Chrift fpeaks here entirely according to the opinion 
of the Jews, who believe, that the godly after death 
were received into Paradife, or Abraham's bofom, 
but that the, wicked were thruft down into hell. 
To which opinion Chrift would have never accom- 
modated his difcourfe, had it been faife. But the 
feries of this parable manifeftly fuppofes, that Chrift 
fpeaks concerning the ftate in which men are placed 
after death, and before the 1 aft judgment. 

Besides there are other exprefs paflages, as the 
words of Chrift. Luke xxiii. 43. To day thou fhalt 
be with me in Paradife, which exprefsly denote, a 
ftate of happinefs immediately after death. For 


Upon the State of Men after Death. 371 

that word, To day, teaches us beyond all controver- 
fy, that that Robber was received into Paradife, on 
the very day, in which he died along with Chrift, 
who here fpeaks according to the opinion of the 
Jews, and ufes their very expreffions. Other paf- 
fages might be added, as Acts vii. 59. Where Ste- 
phen calls out, Lord Jefus receive my Spirit. 2 
Cor. v. 1. 2. 3. For we know that if this earthly 
houfe of this tabernacle were defolved, we have 2 
building of God, an houfe not made with hands, 
eternal in the Heavens, &c. 1 Pet. iv. 10. Rev. 
xiv. 13. BlefTed are the dead who die in the Lord, 
yea, faith the Spirit, that they may reft from their 
labours, and their works do follow them. Efpeci- 
ally, Phil. i. 23. Where Paul hefitating, whether 
he ought to defire life or death, fuppofes, that im- 
mediately after death, he would be with the Lord. 
Otherwife, if he was only to be partaker of that 
blefTednefs, after the refurrection, he would have no 
caufe of this doubtfulnefs, neither would he have 
been fooner or later happy, though his death had 
been haftened or deferred. 

Uses. This doctrine ought to be ferioufly me- 
ditated upon by all. There is none who can avoid 
death, and confequently none who ought not to 
be concerned about his condition after death. 

1. This doctrine is productive of the higheft con- 
folation, which would fuffer great diminution, were 
we to expect nothing before the day of judgment. 
Praife therefore be to our God, who hath infpired us 
with fuch noble expectations, as afford the meft fo- 

lid f 

372 Part II. Sett. VII. C&#. I. 

lid, and efficacious confutation againft the fear of 
death, and replenifli the fouls of the faithful, with 
inerfible joy in the hour of it. 

2. Therefore our lives ought to be ordered in 
fuch a manner, as might enable us to look for this 
happy departure. 

When we reflect upon the ft ate of the foul, when 
feparated from the body, let us remember, that it 
is the moft excellent part of us, in which we mail 
inftantaneoufly, after death, receive the rewards or 
punifhments of our part lives. But let us abandon 
all anxious cares, concerning the body which is re- 
duced to duft, let us diveft ourfelves of corporeal 
pleafures, and employ our utmoft efforts, in order 
that our minds may be more and more purified and 
united unto God. 

3. The doctrine contained in this chapter, warns 
us maturely, and without further delay, to engage 
ourfelves in the ftudy of good works. Life paftes 
over very quickly, fo that mould we die in fin, 
there is no further hope of falvation remaining. 
Whatever wc have omitted, or neglected in this 
life cannot be compenfated in a future one. Let 
us haften our repentance, whilft an opportunity is 
offered us, left that our laft hour mould find us un- 


VpomheEnd of the If I s,3 

Chap. II. 

Concerning the End of the World, 

TERE arc four queftions propounded con- 
cerning the end or" the world, or confumma- 
tion of time. Firft. What we are to understand, 
by that world which is to be deftroyed. Second. 
How it is to be deftroyed. Third. When. Fourth. 
What will be its ftate after its confummation. 

I. By the world here, we are not to underftand 
the univerfal fyftem of things, as the remoter Hea- 
vens, ftars, &c. But that globe which we inhabit, 

• and whatever things do nearly funound it. Peter 
indeed, 2 Eph. iii. 10, fpeaks of the Heavens and 
the "earth -, but that is to be underfcood of that Hea- 
ven, which approacheth neareft unto our earth, for 
he mentions, that the fame world will be deftroyed 
by fire, which formerly periftied by the deluge. 
But the deluge could by no means reach to the 
:r Heavens. 

II. This defolution of the world will be effected 
by fire. It hath been believed among the Hea- 
thens, that the world would not always endure. 
There are many pafTages in Scripture, which treat 
of the end of the world, as Gen. viii. 22. Pf. cii. 
zG. They (hall perilh, but thou ft alt endure, eVc. 
Matt. xxiv. 25. Heaven and earth 

2 Pet. iii. &c. The Apoftles cfien fpeak oi^ 
fend of all things \ but there is . mt, and 


374 Part. II. Sect. VII. Chap. II. 

conflant tradition concerning fire. The words of 
Jofephus are memorable. Antiq. B. I. Chap. III. 
That Adam predicted the univerfal deftruetion of 
things, one by fire, and another by a deluge. The 
Hoicks Heraclitus, Empedocles, and the ancient 
Indian Philofophers the Brackmans, taught th& 
conflagration of the world. Cicero. B. I. Upon 
the nature of the Gods, introduces a ftoick faying, 
that it was in futurity, that the whole world would 
be fet on fire. And Ovid ; 

EfTe quoque in fatis reminifcitur afFore tempus, 
Quo mare, quo tellus, univerfaque regio coeli 
Ardeat et mundi moles operofa laboret. 
It is alfo upon record, that it has been decreed, 
that time was approaching in which the whole 
earth, and univerfal region of Heaven would be in 
flames, and the elaborate mafs of the world con- 
vulfed. And Peter teacheth this mod: clearly, 2 
Eph. iii. 6. 7. The world that then was, being 
overflowed with water perifhed ; but the Heavens 
and the earth, which now are, are referved unto 
fire, againft the day of judgment, and perdition of 
ungodly men. Which words are abfoluteiy and tin* 
ikilfully interpreted, as relating to the deftruction 
of Jerufalem : For a clofe infpection into that paf- 
fage, and the fcries of the difcourfe plainly mew, 
that they arc fpoken of the end of the world, and 
not the deftruction of Jerufalem. 

III. The time of the end of the world is un- 
known ; to which refers that pafiage, Matt, xxiv, 
36. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no 
not the angels of Heaven, but my Father only. Yet 


Upon the End of the World. 37$ 

there are fins, by which men will know when that 
end is nearly approaching. Paul, 2 ThefT. ii. 1. 2. 
&c. teachcth, that the Son of Perdition will be re- 
vealed and deftroyed, before the day of the Lord 
coirieth. The converiion of the Jews and Gentiles 
will alfo precede the end of time •, as alfo that hap- 
py (late of the Church predicted by John. When 
thefe things mail be accomplished, it will be eafy 
to know that the end of the world is at hand. Per- 
haps, at that time there may alfo appear figns and 
wonders in Heaven, and there may happen dreadful, 
and uncommon changes in the world, and affairs of 

IV. It is enquired, what the ftate of the world 
will be after this conflagration ; and whether it will 
be deftroyed as to its effence, or only its qualities ? 
Or whether it will be totally annihilated, or only 
renewed ? Scarcely any thing can be determined 
here with preciMon. Yet the latter opinion feems 
moil: probable, and is confirmed from that pafTage 
in Peter, for he fays, that the world fnall perifh by 
fire, as it had formerly perifhed by the flood. And 
the Apoftle adds, that after this conflagration, we 
are to look for a new Heaven, and a new earth, 
wherein dwelleth righteoufnefs. But in thefe things 
it is fafeft to determine nothing precifely. 

Uses. Peter teacheth the ufe of this doctrine. 
2 Eph. iii. where, in the firit place, he confutes cer- 
tain prophane perfbns, who held what is faid con- 
cerning the end of the world in derifion, and con- 
firms this doctrine by the hiftory of the Flood. Se- 

3?6 Part II. Seff. VII. Chap. III. 

cond. He points out the caufe, why the Lord de- 
fers his corning, viz. becaufe he is merciful, and 
grants unto all men an opportunity to repent. 
Third. He Ijpews, that this ultimate conflagration 
is a mod powerful motive to piety, and good 
works, viz. becaufe here we may eafily learn, how 
great the vanity of this world is, and what they 
are to expect, who indulge themfelves in a vicious 
courfe of life. The fire of that great day will con-* 
fume the wicked, and that day will be a day of de- 
duction. See verfe 7 of that chapter. Fourth. 
Peter teacheth, that there is another world, another 
life, the duration of which will be eternal, afrer 
which we ought to afpire by holinefs of life, v. 13«, 
and 14. 

Chap. III. 

Concerning the Refurrection. 

WE mail here in the firfc place, demon (Irate 
the certainty, and truth of the Refurrectiom 
Second. Explain the nature of it. 

Since the Resurrection is the foundation of all 
our hope, and confequ end y of univerfal religion, 
its truth ought to be confirmed by the mod folid 
arguments. 1 Cor. xv. 16. 17. If the dead rife 
not, then is not Chriit raifed, and if Chrift be not 
raifed, your faith is vain, yc are yet in your fins. 
The Sadduces of old denied it. Matt. xxii. 23. 
Acts xxiii. 8. Alfo fome Hereticks belonging to 
the Church of Corinth, who, no doubt were imbu- 

Upon the Refurrection. 377 

ed with the leaven of the Sadduces. 1 Cor. xv. 12. 
alfo, 2 Tim. ii. 18. In the prefent age, there were 
fome of the Socinians^ who denied the refurrection 
of the wicked. 

The univerfal refurrection of mankind is pro- 
ven by a threefold kind of argument. Firft. From 
the teftimony of Scripture, and firft, indeed, from 
various pafTages which confirm this doctrine, not in 
a direct manner, but by necefTary confequenee, as 
Matt. xxii. 31. 32. God is not the God of the dead, 
but of the living, therefore, fince God calls himfelf 
the God of Abraham, Jfaac, &c. who yet were 
dead, it is necefTary that they mould revive. There 
are many pafTages from which fuch a confequenee 
may be drawn, as when Paul fays, that the bodies 
of the faithful are the temple of the Holy Ghoft, 
that Chrift hath redeemed both foul and body. 1 
Cor. vi. &c. Befides there are places, in which this 
doctrine is openly and exprefsly delivered, as Dan. 
xii. 2. And many of them that fleep in the duft of 
the earth, fhall awake forrie to everlafting life, &c. 
John v. 28. The hour is coming, in which all that 
are in the graves mall hear his voice, and fhall come 
forth, they that have done good, unto the refur- 
rection of life, and they that have done evil, unto 
the refurrection of damnation. Acts xxiv. 15. 
Efpecially, 1 Cor. xv. where this queftion is hand- 
led directly, and in plain terms. It is true indeed, 
that the promife concerning the refurrection, was 
not fo fully revealed under the Old Teftament, as 
under the New. Yet that the godly, even then 
tntertained the hopes of it, is evident, from 2 
C c Maccab. 

37§ Part. II. Sect. VII. Chap. III. 

Maccab. vii. 9. 14. 23. which feems likewife to he 
proved from Heb. v. 19. 

2. From examples taken both from the Old and 
New Teftament, 2 Kings, iv. 36. 37 concerning 
the S'hernommite's fon, who was railed by Elifha. 
and xiii. 2 1. The perfon who was reftored to life, 
upon touching Elifna's bones. Luke vii. 12. The 
widow of Main's fon. John xi. Lazarus. Matt, 
xxvii. 52. Thofe who were rifen at the time of 
Chriil's death. But the principal example was the 
rcfurrection of Chrift, which argument Paul chiefly 
infills upon, 1 Cor. xv. And this was one of the 
principal caufes, why God condefcended to expofe 
his Son to death, viz. that by his illuftrious exam- 
ple, he might confirm the faith and hope of the re- 

3. From various arguments, taken from the 
mo ft certain principles of religion, both natural and 
revealed. This doctrine agrees excellently well 
with right reafon and confeience, as alio with what 
we have formerly obferved, concerning the differ- 
ence between moral good and evil, rewards and pun- 
ifhments in a future life, and concerning God, 
Religion, and Providence. Faith in God, and 
Chrift, cannot confift without the hope of remune- 
ration, and all the capital points of religion, mull fall 
to the ground if lac dead are not raifed : as Paul de- 
mon fir ates at large, 1 Cor. xv. All the parts of 
which capter, its argument's and reafons, ought to 
be particularly considered. 

II. With 

Upon the Refurrectlon. £79 

II. With refpect to the refiirrertion itfelf, there 
are two particulars which the Scriptures teach, 
Firft. The peribns who are to be railed. Second. 
In what ftate. 

1. All men mall be raifed, both good and evil, 
John vi. 28. 29. Matt. xxv. 31. &e. Acts xxiv. 15. 
Where Paul fays, that he had hope toward God, 
that there mall be a refurrection of the dead, both 
of the juft and unjuit. 2 Cor. v. 10. All muft ap- 
pear before the tribunal of Chrift, &c. 2 Pet. ii. 
9. Rev. xx. 12. but it may be enquired, whether 
the fame bodies mall be railed, or if men mail be 
clothed with new bodies ? The former ought by 
all means to be maintained, otherwife there would 
be no refurrection, but only a new creation •, nei- 
ther w iuld the Scripture have taught us, that thofe 
who fleep mall come out of the dull:, and that the 
dull of the earth mail deliver up their dead. Again, 
iince man confifh of foul and body, it feems en- 
tirely requifite, in order that the fame man mould 
rife, that he mould have the fame body. The re- 
furrection of Chrift alfo proves this, iince he had 
the fame bodv at his refurrection and afcenfion. 
Befides Paul tells us, tint thefe vile bodies, this 
corruptible and mortal, mail be changed. Phil. iii. 
21. It is faid that Chrift will change thefe vile bo- 
dies of ours, that they may be like unto his glorious 
body. 1 Cor. xv. 42. 43. 44. alfo 53. Be/ides it is 
to be obferved, that all, both Jews and Chriftians, 
when treating of the refurrection, always under- 
stood the refurrection of the body. See that paffage, 
2 Maccab. vii. already quoted. The objections of 
C c 2 fh* 

3 8o Tart II. Seff. VII. Chap. III. 

the S adduces, fuppofe the fame, Matt. 22. 24. 
And the judgment of the Heathens, concerning 
this doctrine, Acts xvii. 32. We learn from Ter- 
tullian, Minucius, Felix, and other ancient writers, 
that this was the principal objection of the adver- 
faries to Chriftianity. How could it be poffible, 
that our bodies fhould be reftorcd ? In order to re- 
move which objection, it may be obferved, that if 
there were no rcfurrection of the body, Chrift and 
his followers would have plainly faid, that the Sad- 
duces and Heathens did not understand this doct- 
rine, and that the bodies were not to be raifed, but 
they faid no fuch thing, but took their anfwer3 
from Scripture, and the omnipotence of God, 
which fuppofes the refurrection of the bodies. As 
to the objections commonly offered. How could 
bodies, after being diffolved into the fmalleft parti- 
cles, be again reflored ? We anfwer, That as there 
is nothing contradictory in this, we ought to acqui- 
efce in the promifes and omnipotence of God. We 
ought fo to adhere to the fimplicity of the word of 
God, as not to indulge the vanity and giddinefs of 
curiofity 5 we only add, that there is no more pow- 
er requifite, for the reftoration of a body, the parts 
of which, however diffolved and difperfed, yet ftill 
exift, than would be required, in order to create a 
new body. 

2. B-ut though the bodies mall be raifed, they 
mail alfo be adorned with new qualities. Phil. iii. 
21. 2 Cor. xv. 42. cxTc. but what thefe qualities 
preeifely will be, cannot be diftinctly conceived ; 


Upon the Resurrection, *8i 

they will principally confift in fpirituality, and im- 

The tranfmutation of the living, fhall immedi- 
ately fuccced the rtfurrection of the dead, con- 
cerning which, j Cor. xv. 51. 52. and 1 Theff. iv. 
at the end. Then we which are alive, and remain, 
fhall be caught up together with them in the clouds> 
to meet the Lord in the air. There is a pafTage ex- 
tant in Rev. xx. 4. 5- 6. concerning a twofold re- 
furrection, one of the martyrs, and another of the 
reft of mankind, but the fenfc, of that parTage is con^ 

Uses, i The hope of a refurrection affords 
the ftrongeft confolation againft the calamities of 
this life, againft perfecutions, to which we are 
fometimes obnoxious, nay, even againft death it- 
felf. 1 Cor. xv. 19. alfo 53. 54. And the more fo 
as that hope is moft certain, and confirmed by fo 
many promifes, examples, and arguments. When 
we reflect upon this within ourfeives, we ought to 
fay with Peter, 1 Eph. i. 3. BlefTed be the God and 
Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift, who according to 
his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again, unto 
a lively hope, by the refurrection of Jefus Chrift 
from the dead. 

2. We ought to draw from this doctrine, tlit 
ftrongeft motives and incitements to piety, left in 
that hope we mould be entirely frufcrated. Acts 
xxiv. 16. We fhall indeed be raifed, let our li^es 
be what they will, The wicked fhall rife, but it 
C c 3 were 

3*2 Part II. Sett. VII. Chap. IV. 

were better for them, that they always remained un- 
der death. Laiily, the hope of a refurrcction, can 
only be of advantage to fuch as being filled 
with it, do purify themfelves. i John iii. 3. We 
cannot otherwife prepare ourfelves better for the 
refurreclion, than by endeavouring to fubdue the 
body, and the lulls thereof; and if whilft we are in 
the body, we become daily more fpiritual, fo that 
at length being partakers of a bleffed re fur reel ion s 
we may become like unto the Angels of Heaven, 
Luke xx. 35. 36. 

Chap. IV. 

Concerning the loft Judgment. 

IRST. We mail demonftrate the certainty of 
a Judgment. Secondly. Treat of the J udg- 
X itfelf. 


ment itfelf. 

I. The former of thefe is demonftrated chiefly 
by three arguments. Firft. By reafons adduced 
above, which were drawn from the energy of con- 
fcience, the diftinclion between moral good and 
evil •, alfo this, that a God exifts, who is the gover- 
nor and judge of the world, and who is holy jufl 
and good. All of which prove, net indeed directly 
that there will be a judgment, in v\hich all men 
wfli be judged together, icr that hath been notified 
by revelation only, but that there will be a diftribu- 
tion of rewards and punifhments, after this life. So 
that this dcclrine exaclly correfpends with the dic- 

' Upon the Judgment. 3S3 

tates of right reafon, and refts upon the univerfal 
confent of mankind. 

2. The Scripture either teacheth this expriefsly, 
as Jude, verfe 14. Behold the Lord cometh, with 
ten thoufands of his faints, to execute judgment 
upon all that are ungodly, &c. Job. xxxiv. 11. 
Pf. lxii. 13. Ecclef. xii. 14. God will bring every 
work into judgment, with every fecret thing, whe- 
ther it be good, or whether it be evil. Matt. xxv. 
28. &c. Acls xvii. 31. Becaufe he hath appoint- 
ed a day, in the which he will judge the world in 
righteoufnefs, by that man whom he hath ordained, 
whereof he hath given aiiurance unto all men, in 
that he hath raifed him from the dead. 2 Cor. v. 
10. 2 Pet. ii. 9. Rev. xx. 2. Or by confequence, 
for whatever the Scripture delivers concerning God, 
concerning (Thrift, concerning faith, &c. are {o 
agreeable, and fo clofely connected with the doctrine 
of a future judgment, that laying it aude the otkcrs 
nxuft be reduced to nothing. 

3. It was the Divine pleafure, that there mould 
be extant, various illuftrious examples, by which 
men might be inftrueted concerning a future judg- 
ment, viz. he has exhibited various inftances of his 
juftice againft the creatures, and particular per- 
fons, or nations. For inftance, the punifhment of 
the Angels, the Deluge, the overthrow of the So- 
domites, the various deftructions of the Israelites, 
which argument Peter ufes. 2 Epift. chap. ii. 9. 
10. The Epift. of Jude, verfe 5 6 &c. Many 
things alfo occur in the ordinary courfe of Provi- 

384 Part II. Seff. VII. Chap. IV. 

dence, which fully evince that God is the judge of 
the world. 

It is in vain objected here, that the godly are of- 
tentimes miferable in this life, and that the wicked 
do profper, for that rather confirms the certainty 
of a judgment. Becaufe, if the godly and the wick- 
ed reaped the fruits of their deferts in this life, it 
might thence be concluded, that we were to expect 
nothing after death. But fince the contrary fome- 
times happens, it plainly indicates, that God in an 
after ftate will render unto each according to their 

II. With refpect to the Judgment itfelf, we have 
to confider, who is to be judge, who are the perfons 
to be judged, how, what will be the end, or event of 
this judgment, and laftly its time. 

1. The Lord Jefuswill be judge, John v. 22^ 
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath commit- 
ted all judgment unto the Son. Matt. xvi. 27, 
and xxv. 31. Acts. xvii. 31. 1 Cor. xv. 24. But 
it behoveth him, who will be the judge of the 
world, and mankind, to be omnifcient powerful, 
and juft. This likewife adds the greater!: influ* 
ence to the commandments, and threatnings of the 
Gofpel, fince we are to be judged by the very 
fame perfon, who died for us, and w r ho delivered 
his commandments unto us. Therefore men have 
no • caufe, why they mould either complain, or 
Hatter themfelves, fince their Saviour is to be their 
judge. But Jefus Chrirt will defcend vifibly from 


Upon the loft Judgment. 385 

ficavcn, and render himfelf confpicuous unto all. 
How magnificent his advent will be, we learn from 
Matt. xxv. 32. Rev. xxi. 11. &c. 

2. All men mail be judged, the quick and the 
dead, the good and the evil, of whatever (late and 
condition they are. Matt. xxv. 32. Rev. xxi. 12. 
J^ay, the Heathen. Rem. ii. 12. For as many as 
have finned without law, (hall alfo perifh without 
law. And all fhall appear together, and at the 
fame time, before their Judge, wherefore this judg- 
ment is termed universal. It may be collected 
from various paffages in Scripture, that the wicked 
Angels fhall then be judged alfo, as Matt. 25. 41. 
where fire is faid to be prepared for the Devil and 
his Angels. 2 Pet. ii. 4. Epift. of Jude, 6. It is 
faid that God hath referved the Angels, who kept 
not the firfl eftate, unto the judgment of that great 

3. As to the manner and method in which this 
judgment will be conducted, it is to be obferved, 
(a) that God will judge men according to their 
morks, ii. 6. according to the good, and 
evil which they have done, 2 Cor. v. 10. and in 
which they have perfevered until death, likewife 
according to their words and thoughts, as alfo 
their fins of omifiion. (b) They mall be judged 
by the law of God, and the meafure of knowledge 
which they enjoyed, viz. Such as had no other law 
but the law of nature, fhall be judged by the na- 
tural law, and thofe to whom a divine revelation 
was given, ihall be judged according to the law of 


1*6 Tart II. Self. VII. Chap. IV. 

revelation. Rom. ii. 9. 10. and 14. 15. (c) This 
judgment is not fo to be conceived, as if a judicial 
procefs were to commence againfr. every man by 
interrogations, witnefTes, &c. The judgment fhall 
pafs in every man's confcience, the good mail be 
feparated from the evil, all being confcious of the 
good and evil which they have done, fhall acknow- 
ledge the reafonablenefs and equity of that judg- 
ment, whilft they will be either received into Hea- 
ven, or thruft down into Hell. 

4. The event of this judgment will be life and 
death eternal, of which we are foon to treat. 

5. With refpect to the time of that judgment, 
befides what has been already faid, concerning 
the end of the world, there are two things to be 
obferved. (a) That its time is certain, and de- 
termined. For God hath appointed a day for the 
laft judgment. Acts xvii. 31. Hence, frequent 
mention is made of that great day in the New 
Teftament. (b) That the time of it is unknown, 
and concealed from us. 2 Pet. iii. 10. That day 
mall come as a thief in the night. There are ma- 
ny reafons which mew it neceffary, that the time 
when we are to be judged, mould be hidden from 
us, that men might live in the daily expectation of 
it, and be encited to vigilence. Matt. xxiv. 41. 
Watch therefore, for ye know not the hour in 
which your Lord will come. But fince our ftate 
immediately after death is immutable, nor is there 
any more regrefs to falvation, or damnation, there- 

Upon the Loft Judgment. 387 

fore, every perfon is (aid to be judged at the hour 
of death. 

Uses. There is fcarcely any doctrine productive 
of Co many ufes, as this ^ the principal of which are 
as follow. 

1. Since the whole efficacy of this doctrine 
depends upon our being firmly perfuaded of the 
certainty of a judgment, it is of great moment, 
to give due attention to the arguments and rea- 
fons which eftablifh the truth of it. Here the 
mod of men are culpable, whofe faith is unftable, 
who entertain only a certain {lender, and fuperfi- 
cial opinion concerning it, which not being well 
rooted, remains barren and without efficacy in the 

2. Peter affords us the fecdnd ufe. 1 Eph. i. 
17. And if ye call on the Father, who without 
refpect of perfons judgeth according to every 
man's work, pafs the time of your fojourning here 
in fear. No doctrine tends more to produce 
within us an ardent deffre after piety. Which 
ufe, if any one defires to profecute more particu- 
larly, let him refume thofe five articles which we 
have already mentioned. Firft. Chrift will be 
judge, who is omnipotent, and omnicient, who 
has a thorough knowledge of all our words, 
thoughts, and actions, fo that no one fhall efcape 
his judgment. Second. All men fhall be judged, 
of whatever condition they are, and according to 


j8S Part II. Sect. VII. C%>. IV. 

the nature of their Mate ; great and fmall, rich and 
poor, kings and pallors, &c. 

3. They fhall be judged according to their 
works. The rule of judgment will be the divine 
law, and refpecl will be had chiefly to the tenor 
of our lives. Hidden things mail then be revealed, 
and all thofe fins which are latent from men, mall 
be brought to light. Therefore our greater! care 
mould be, to live a life of godlinefs, and to be much 
employed in doing good works, fo that when that 
tremendous day cometh, we may appear with con- 
fidence before the tribunal of Chrift. Then it will 
avail us nothing, that we were Chriftians, or had the 
knowledge of God, an account of our works muft 
be given. But if the difcourfe here be pointed 
principally at the ungodly, this argument will af- 
ford the greatefl fcope, for faying a great many 

4. The event of this judgment ought to create 
within us the moft awful dread, and at the fame 
time the moft rejoicing hopes, and expectations. 
Who could reft unconcerned, 'when fpeaking of 
$he ^rewards, and punimments of eternity ? How 
great the madnefs of thofe, who, that they might 
gratify their fenfual deiires, plunge themfelves in 
eternal deftruction ? The pleafures which we per- 
ceive from the enjoyments of fin, do vanifh in a 
ihort time ; but the fruits of fin endure through 
eternity. Fifth. What the Scripture relates con- 
cerning the time of this judgment are of the great- 
eft confequence : The time is concealed from us, 


Upon Life Eternal 3S9 

when we are to be placed at the judgment feat of 
God •, but every one knows that death is moil cer- 
tain, and very nigh to us. Let us therefore be- 
ware left it mould find us unprepared, let us watch 
and pray without ceafing, according to our Savi- 
our's admonition, and whilit we are looking for 
that glorious hope, and illuftrious advent of the 
glory of God, and our Saviour Jefus Chrift, let us 
live foberly, righteoufly, and godly in this prefent 
world. Tit. i. 12. 13. 

Chap. V, 

Concerning Life Eternal. 

THIS is the Iaft head of Theology, as life 
eternal, is the end and fcope of religion, 
concerning which we may obferve in general : 
That we know but imperfectly, wherein it conlifts, 
Thefe four following particulars we are certain of. 
Firft. That it is another life referved after death. 
Second. That it is a life of happinefs. Third. 
Eternal. Fourth. That it is deftined only for the 

I. This life is to be confidered as a life of the 
entire man, that is, both with refpect to the bo- 
dy, and foul, and far more excellent than that, 
which we at prefent enjoy. The body will be im- 
mortal, and the foul a living Spirit •, that is, living 
of itfelf, and fubfifting without the ufe of fuch 
means as are now necerTary, for the prefervation 
of life, 1 Cor. xv. 45. But as we are to enjoy 


390 Part II. 3e8. VII. Chop. V. 

eternal life, with refpect to the body, hence is con-* 
firmed the doctrine of the refurrection. 

II. It will be a life of happinefs which mail 
confift of two parts. Firft. An immunity from 
the evils of this life, fuch as difeafes, pains, fin, 
death, as alfo from thofe of a future one, viz. thofe 
dreadful torments, which are deftined for the wicked, 
Second. In future of the chief good, viz. God, 
or in the virion, i. e. the knowledge or love of 

We mail then know God, and his works, in a 
far more perfect manner than they are known at 
prefent, I fay his works, whether of nature, and 
providence, or of grace, and redemption, which 
knowledge it is very probable, will be fucceflive, 
and progreflive. To this knowledge will be uni- 
ted, perfect Sanctity, or the perfect love of God. 
But that holinefs will not be of the fame nature, 
with the holinefs of this life. Firft. For there 
will be no occafion in Heaven for many offices, 
which we have to difcharge, while upon earth, 
fuch as avoiding temptations, temperance, patience^ 
beneficence, faith, hope. Second. We will alfo 
have to perform many duties there, which we 
cannot difcharge here. Third. Thofe duties, 
which are impofed upon us now, Snail then be dis- 
charged in the moil perfect manner, fuch are the 
love of God, and of mankind, in which love, all 
our perfection and happinefs will confift. Then 
we fliall enjoy the fellowship, and love of G x\ 
•f Chrift, of the Angels, Apoftles, Martyrs, and in 

Upon Life Eternal 391 

a word of all the Saints, and confequently consum- 
mate and perfect felicity. 

III. With refpect to the duration of that ftat% 
it will be eternal, fo it is every where expreiled in. 
Scripture, and this is what greatly augments the 
beatitude of the faints. 

IV. Lastly, and what bught chiefly to be at- 
tended to, is, that this life is only deftined for the 
godly : For, Firft. It is promifed to them alone, 
all others being excluded. Matt. XXV. 46. The 
juft mall go into life eternal. Heb. xii. 14. Fol- 
low peace with all men, and holinefs, without 
which no man mall fee the Lord. Rev. xxii. 14. 
15. Second. Such is the nature of eternal life, and 
its happinefs, that fuch as have perfevered in fin, 
and have been destitute of piety and holinefs, cannot 
be made partakers of it, as is evident from v hat we 
have already obferved, concerning God's juiiLe* 
and the necefTity of good works. 

There are two quefcions moved here. Firffc. 
Whether the remembrance of the things of this 
life, will take place in a future one, and whether 
the faints will have any knowledge of each other. 
To which queftions we anfwer in the affirmative. 
For, Firft. It cannot be conceived, how the faints 
could know that they were the fame perfons who 
formerly lived in this world, if no idea, no re- 
membrance of their pan: life remained. Second. 
It cannot be conceived, how the faints fhould cele- 
brate God's praife, for his goodneis in 'eaJling 


392 Pari II. Sea. Vtl. Chap. V. 

them to falvation, by the Gofpel, if they did not 
remember that they formerly lived in this world, 
and that they derived the knowledge of Chrift, 
from the preaching of his Gofpel, and were mem- 
bers of his Church, all of which fuppofe the re- 
membrance of time, place, perfons, and other cir- 
cumftances. Third. The faints will converfe up- 
on the benefits of God in their pail ftate, and 
other fubjects ; fo that of courfe they muft know 
each other. Fourth. It contributes not a little to 
the glory of God, and the filicity of the faints, 
that they mould know fo many pious fouls, 
as have faithfully worihipped God, as the Apof- 
tles, Prophets, Martyrs. Now if thofe excel- 
lent fervants of God, are to be known by all the 
godly, which can fcarcely be called in quefti- 
on, why not others ? What Paul afTerts. I Theft*. 
ii. 19. 20. For what is our hope, or joy, of 
crown of rejoicing ? are not even ye in the pre- 
sence of our Lord Jefus Chrift at his coming ? For 
ye are our glory, and joy. Evidently fuppofes, 
that Paul and the faithful mail mutually know each 

Nor ought it to be objected, that granting this 
knowledge, the abfence of their friends and kindred, 
tvould create uneafinefs to the faints. That objec- 
tion is frivolous, for the faints will then love none, 
but in God, and on God's account, and here we 
underftand fuch a knowledge, as hath nothing in 
fcommon with terreftrial, and carnal affections. 

2, Ir 

Upon Life Eternal. $93 

2. It is afked, whether there will be degrees of 
glory ? The moil of Divines anfwer in the affirma- 
tive, and they prove this, both from Scripture, as 
Matt. xxv. 'in the parable of the talents, i Cor. 
iii. 14. 15. 2 Cor. ix. 6. He which foweth fparing- 
ly, mall reap alfo fparingly, and he which foweth 
bountifully, mail reap alfo bountifully. Mat", xix. 
28. Dan. xii. They that be wife, mall mine as the 
brightnefs of the firmament, and they that turn ma- 
ny to righteoufriefs, as the liars forever and ever. 
And from reafon, Firft. A fpecial and higher de- 
gree of glory, can fcarcely be denied to forne cer- 
tain perfons, as the Apoftles and Martyrs. Se~ 
cond. We can fcarcely conceive, that a perfon who 
has fpent the greater!: part of his life in wickednefs, 
and at length reformed a little before death, mould 
obtain as high a degree of glory, as he who devo':e3 
the whole of his life time to piety, and has contri- 
buted much to the glory of God, and the falva- 
tionofmen: God indeed rewards no perfon out 
of debt, but he has a refpect to the ftate, life, 
and obedience of men. But though we grant, that: 
there are degrees of glory, yet we are not to ima- 
gine, that they will be the lefs happy, upon that 
account, who have obtained a fmaller portion ; fhall 
the fower or the hufbandman be the lefs happy, 
or complain of his ftatc, becaufe he is not crowned 
with the faffte glory as the Apoltle Paul. In a 
future world, there will be no room left for envy, 
all t^tiflgs fhall be referred unto God, and God 
fhall be praifed in all and by all. On the other 
hand is objefted, that paffage, Matt. xx. 9. 10. 
Concerning thofe labourers, who being hired about: 
Dd the 

394 Part II. SeM* VII. Chap. V. 

the eleventh hour, received as much wages? as 
thofe who had b^tn hired early in the morning. But 
the meaning is, that the Gentiles who were to be 
called laft, unto the divine covenant, fhould be par- 
takers of the fame grace, and the fame benefits with 
the jews, who had long fince, and before the Gen- 
tiles, been called unto that covenant. 

Uses. What we are to mention here, maybe 
reduced to two heads. Firft. That there is an eter- 
nal life. Second. For whom it is referved. 

i. Since there is a life after death, and that mod 
happy and eternal, what is it that can affect men 
more, afford them more folid comfort, or £11 them 
with greater joy ? There is nothing which they de- 
lire more than life, fo that the life which they enjoy 
at prefent, though Iriort and calamitous, is defirable, 
and they are not more folicitous about any thing, 
than its prefervation. How much therefore ought 
the certain, and unqueftionable hope of that celeftial 
life affect us? Who' would not here acknowledge 
the divine energy, and excellency of the Chriftian re- 
ligion ? 

2. But what chiefly merits attention, is, tha£ 
this life is not referved for ail. Indeed all have 
accefs unto it, by faith in Jefus Chrifh But all 
have not faith, and confequcntly all are not par- 
takers of eternal life. We have already proved, 
from places of Scripture, and reafbn, that it is 
prom ill d of God, and referved for the pious only* 
So that the unbelieving and impenitent part of 


Upon Life Eternal. 395" 

mankind mall be excluded from it. Of which alfo 
we are frequently reminded by Scripture. 1 Cor. 
vi. 10. Neither thieves, nor covetous, nor drunk- 
ards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, mall inherit 
the kingdom of God. Rev. xxii. 15. For without 
are dogs, and forcerers, and whore- mongers, and 
murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loveth and 
maketh a lie. Therefore, the legitimate ufe of this 
prefent life, will be, to prepare ourfelves for the frui- 
tion of that life which is to come. This may be 
accomplished, if we but duely weigh wherein the na- 
ture of that fpiritual, and celeftial life confifts, which 
mall unite us unto God, and the Angels, and bring 
us to refemblance of them ; the which we fhali live 
in Heaven, and not upon earth. We fnall become 
worthy of it, by always advancing towards that (late, 
as far as is pofiible, by fubduing the flefh, ofFering 
up prayers, and by raifing our thoughts, defires, and 
endeavours, -towards him, and Heaven, and heaven- 
ly things. Col. iii. 23. Thus it flvdl come to 
pafs, that having begun that blefTed life here, that 
having lived to God before death, we mall forever 
live with him after death. 

C K A P. VI. 

Of Death Eternal 

THE fame thing may be obferved concern i-ng 
the ftate of the wicked in a future world, 
that we formerly mentioned concerning eternal life, 
viz. that we cannot precifely define wherein the na- 
ture of that (rate will confiit. The following cbfer- 
vations may fuffice. 

1. Xba? 

396 Part II. SM< VII. Chap. VI. 

I. That there are puniihments after this life, 
which is evident. Fifft. From innumerable places 
in Scripture, in which there is no ambiguity, as 
Matt. xxv. 46. The wicked mail go away into 
everlafting punifhment. 2 Pet. li. 9. The Lord 
knoweth how to referve the unjuft, unto the day of 
judgment, to be punimed. And, Second. From 
reafbns which we have already produced, concerning 
judgment, and the refurreclion. 

With refpecl: to the nature of punimments, 
three particulars are to be considered. Firft. 
Their weight. Second. Duration. Third. De- 
grees. Firft. They will be molt, grievous punifh- 
rnents, not only of privation, but likewife of 
ienfe. This is vindicated by the various places of 
Scripture, both proper and figurative, concerning 
hell, fire, weeping, and gnafhihg of teeth. Mark 
ix. 43. 44. Luke xvi. 23. In which places, it is 
plain, that Chrift denotes the punifhments of a 
future life, both from the feries of his difcourfe, 
as alfo becaufe he fpeaks here according to t}ie 
cuftcm of the Jews, who diftinguifhed thefe pu- 
nifhments by thefe phrafes. Yet thefe figurative 
exprciTions are not to be underflood preciiely, ac- 
cording to their literal meaning. ' They are only 
images, or reprefentations ef a ftate of the great- 
eft mifery. Thefe punifhments comprehend. 
Firft. A privation of ihe chief good, Separation 
from God, and exclusion from the happinefs of Hea- 
ven, which is denoted by thefe words of Chrift,. 
depart from me ye curfed. Matt. xxv. 41. alfo, 
J. Cor. vi. 10. Rev. xxii. 15. Second. The fuf- 


Upon Death Eternal. 397 

ferance of the greateft evils, and moft intenfe pun- 
ifhments, both of body and foul. With refpect 
to the body it is afkfed, whether the wicked mail 
be tormented with material fire ? Truely we can- 
not conceive that bodies mould be always burning',' 
and yet that they mould not 'pcriih, nor be de- 
ftroyed. It is very probable, that the wicked mall 
be tormented for fome fpace of time, with that fire 
which, at the end of the world, mall confume all 
things, which being rimmed, they mail furvive. 
Therefore, the proper, and moft fevere punifh- 
ments, are thofe of the foul, and that mod in- 
tenfe forrow, which proceeds from the lofs of the 
chief good, which is attended with defperation, 
and remorfe of confidence. For confeience will 
accufe the wicked, becaufe they rejected falvation, 
when offered them, and willingly thruft thcmfelves 
into the banifnment. Which forrow will be greatly 
augmented by difpair, as there will remain no hope 
of deliverance. Many, when difcourfing upon the 
punifhments of the damned, attribute to them hatred 
againit God, blafphemies, &c. But abfurdly. For 
hatred againfc God cannot be applied to any crea- 
ture, however wicked, and if fuch a hatred were to 
be found among the damned, they would not grieve 
fo intenfely on account of their being feparated from 
him. They will fome way or other be fenfible, 
that God is the chief good ofman, and befides, will 
acknowledge the juftice of his judgment. 

II. With re fp eel to the duration of thefe pun- 
ifhments, we learn frcm the word of Gcd, that 
they are eternal in the fame refpect;, as in the con- 

$g% Part II. Sett. VII. C%. VI. 

text, life is termed eternal. Befides, Rev. xiv. u. 
And the fmoke of their torment afcendeth up for- 
ever, and ever. And xx. 10. And the Devil and 
J>eaft, and the falfe Prophet, fhall be tormented 
day and night forever and ever. Alfo what is (aid 
concerning the worm that dieth not, and the fire 
that is not quenched. But it is beft to fpeak fober- 
ly here, and with the word of God. It is fufficient 
to believe, that whether God hath fpoken is true, 
and that he will not punifh any, beyond their de- 
ferts. The difficulties which are moved concerning 
the eternity of puniihments, take their rife from our 
not understanding precifely, what the ftate of re- 
probates will be. 

III. What relates to the degrees of punifli- 
ment is plain, and evident, and the juftice of God 
makes it entirely requisite, that every one mould 
be punifhed according to the number and nature 
of their fins. But the attrocity, and meafure of fins 
mall be eftimated according to the degree of 
knowledge and grace, which was granted in this 
life. Luke xii. 47. 48. That fer van t which knew 
his will, prepared not himfelf, neither did accord- 
ing to his will, fhall be beaten with many ftripes. 
But he that knew not, and did commit tilings wor^ 
thy of ftripes, fhall be beaten with few ilripes. 
Matt. xi. 21. 22. It fhall be more tolerable for 
Tyre, and Sydon, in the day of judgment, than 
for you. So that the Heathens fhall be treated 
more gently, than Chriflians •, and among Chriftians, 
thofe fhall undergo greater puniihments, who have 
obtained a larger degree 


Upm Death JLternal. 39# 

Uses. There are three things to be conlidered 
here, the certainty, fevcrity, and degrees of thofe 
punifhments. Firft. Even the Heathens were not 
ignorant of punifhments being referved for the wick- 
ed after this life : How much more firmly fhould 
this doctrine be believed by Chriftians, who have 
fuch clear evidences from the word of God, and fo 
many arguments to fupport it. How comes it to 
pafs then, that the mofl of men are but little affected 
with the dread of them. And not only this, but they 
bring them down upon themfelves, and like perfons 
blind, or brutes, rum headlong into deftruction, viz, 
became they are deftitute of faith, do not reflect, 
nor turn their attention, towards thefe things. 

2. Besides, we ought to contemplate the griev^ 
ous nature of thefc infernal regions, how dreadful 
a thing it muft be, to be excluded from the chief 
good, from the prefence of God, from the fellow- 
fhip of the Saints and Angels ; and to be joined in 
fellowfhip with the mod wicked, nay, with the 
Devil himfelf, and the apoftate Angels to be tor- 
mented with the flings of conference, and over and 
tibove all this, with defperation. There is one thing 
very moving, viz. that the damned have know- 
ingly, and after long and frequent admonitions, 
call- themfelves into that deplorable ftate, becaufe 
they would not cleave unto God and Chrift, in or- 
der that they might be partakers with the Saints 
in the ccleflial kingdom, and avoid mch dreadful 

3. We 

406 Part. II. Sect. VII. Chap. VI. 

3. We ought to recoiled: what we have taught,' 
concerning the degrees of punifhment from the 
word of God. Thefe certainly ought to beget fear 
and folicituds, in fuch as God has favoured with a 
remarkable degree of knowledge. The greater be- 
nefits God loads us with, the more bountifully he 
fupplies us with what is necefTary to godlinefs, the 
greater fhould our terror be, when reflecting on the 
degrees of punimment. 

Now before we conclude, one thing is to be ob-i 
ferved occasionally, from what has been faid, viz. 
That of all men, fuch as are employed in the Sacred 
Miniftry, fhall meet with the moil fevere and griev- 
ous puniihments, if they are deficient in their duty, 
and that on account of their facred function, and 
the degree of knowledge conferred upon them by 
God. Thofe, I fay, are the unprofitable fervants 
and hypocrites, who fhall be caft into utter darknefs, 
where there will be weeping and gnafhing of teeth. 
Matt. xxiv. 45-51. Thefe considerations ought 
to impel fuch as are veiled with the ministerial of- 
fice, to piety, vigilance, and temperance, they ought 
to excite their diligence, inflame their zeal, and 
refcue them from the love of the world, and youth- 
ful lufts. To this let all their ftudies, undertakings* 
actions, and in a word their whole life be referred ; 
let this be the fcope of our ftudies, and of cur Thef 

ological Treatife. 



PAGE 28, Line 3, for bublic read public. P*ge 35 
line 11, tor devon. ■ ■ " ■ read devout. Page 72, Hue 
19, for tent s» . read tentea. ' Page bi, line 7, lor u-her» — 
read were. P age 84, line 24, lor exillance — read exigence. 

Page 85, line 8, icrhis read this. Page 100, line 28, for 

preceecu— —read prtceds. Page 114, line 17, tor degree- 
read decree. Do. line 21, for fufRer — read fuffer. Page 149, 
line 5, for permifiior— lead pardon. Do. line 14, for bocome, 
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absolutely. Page 158, line 19, after have. — read been. Page 162, 
line 10, for pretention— read pretention. Page 163, line 25, 
for pofled— read pofTeiTed. Page 181, line 25, for neer— — 

read need. Page 193, line 28, for decree. read degree. 

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for coval— re#d cavil. Page 230, line 24, for unto — read 
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